(NewsNation Now) — Major League Baseball swiftly moved the All-Star Game to hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday after pulling the Midsummer Classic from Atlanta over objections to extensive changes to Georgia’s voting laws.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he was “baffled” by the move saying that Colorado has laws similar, if not more restrictive.
Denver Election Clerk and Recorder, Paul Lopez refuted the similarity saying, ” I don’t know where [the claim] came from.”
He wasn’t shocked Georgia was receiving backlash for the voting law.
“It’s a law that takes us back to a time we’re not proud of in our history. It has disenfranchised a lot of voters. Its intent is pretty cruel,” added Lopez.
Democratic state officials in Colorado have touted their state’s mail-in voting system, which began in 2013, for its ease and accessibility. In the November election, there were more than 350 ballot drop boxes around the state along with a ballot tracking system that allowed voters to trace their votes as they were accepted and counted.
“This last November during the Presidential election. It was the safest election we’ve ever had, ” said Lopez. “In Denver, it was one of the highest turnouts.”
Lopez also claimed that Denver did not have a single line longer than two minutes across the state to vote.
He said that laws like this sadden him, “At the end of the day I hope folks can come to their senses and actually do something to protect the right to vote for all citizens.”
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold praised the MLB decision, crediting it to the state’s “national gold standard for elections.”
“We’ve got the most accessible and secure elections in the country, and are grateful that MLB is giving us the opportunity to showcase how elections can be!” Griswold said in a statement.
“I’m very appreciative of Major League Baseball for having the guts to move the All-Star Game back to the Mile High city. In Denver, we’re a baseball town. Not only love baseball, but we also love making voting safe, secure, transparent to all voters regardless of your zip code,” said Lopez.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said at a news conference that the state had expressed interest in hosting a game down the road, but when given the last-minute opportunity, Denver was able to make plans quickly. They already had a blueprint for handling hotels, event space and security.
“This is fundamentally about baseball and it’s about the fans. And I couldn’t be more excited that we’re gonna be able to highlight Denver as the venue,” Polis said.