The changes in the voting laws in Georgia have caused considerable outrage among residents and businesses in the state. Last Saturday, according to multiple sources, the director of the currently-in-production film Black Panther II said he will not be moving production of the film from its home city of Atlanta, where many installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been filmed. The change had impacted many major corporations based in the Atlanta metropolitan area, including the Coca-Cola Company, the Home Depot, Delta Airlines and a number of other companies listed on the Fortune 500 and New York Stock Exchange.Georgia is a predominantly Republican state, like many other southern U.S. states. 2020 marked the first time since 1992 that the state voted Democratic as opposed to Republican.
This change in voting law that I am discussing actually came from the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave voters limited opportunities to vote as normal, and resulted in voters voting by mail. This was politicized through the heated rhetoric of former president Donald Trump. This law means voters have fewer days to request mail-in ballots during local, state and presidential elections. The law will also tackle mail-in voting and voter identification requirements.After Donald Trump was defeated by Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Trump had repeatedly contested the election results on several of his social media platforms through false claims of victory, including one video where he argued that he won in a landslide, a claim that is considered false. This resulted in Twitter flagging several of his tweets with disputed election fraud claims. This then led to Republican lawmakers making it look like they were tackling voter fraud problems, even if they did not exist. As a result, House Republicans in Georgia ended up passing changes to the voting laws in the state.This has led to critics saying it is a form of voter suppression. In fact, Republican congressman Jim Clyburn stated this could be a new version of the even more controversial Jim Crow laws, which largely segregated Blacks and Whites in the southern United States. The Jim Crow laws were outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure Blacks have the same First Amendment rights as their white counterparts, including the ability to vote. The law could potentially cause Georgia-based companies to leave the state and move their operations. 72 black CEOs of companies based in the state are speaking out against the bill. Over a week ago, more than 100 CEOs met in an online meeting to debate how to resolve the situation.
Pro-sports organizations have also weighed in on the law. In fact, Fred Ridley, the National Chairman of Augusta, he states the right to vote is “fundamental in our Democratic society.” To protest the bill, Major League Baseball is planning to move their All-Star game from Georgia to Colorado to protest the bill.For the majority of Americans, the Republican party tends to focus on the right-hand side of politics, while the Democratic party focuses on the left-hand side. This was especially true when election maps were in reverse with Republicans being blue and Democrats being red. This was because the Democratic party was mostly associated with the leftist groups that were based in the United States at the time, even before the media settled on the colors we know today. For many corporate CEOs living in Georgia, it is disorienting, and this law is a problem for their business, city and state.