When Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game from Georgia to protest the state’s overhaul of its election laws, talking heads wondered: where would they take it? Which state’s elections laws did MLB find acceptable?
Reports soon confirmed the organization had chosen Colorado, where the vast majority of voters typically vote absentee rather than in-person, and where, according to the United States Elections Project, turnout was around 76% last year, compared to Georgia’s 67%.
Here are a few ways the states’ voting laws differ:
VOTER IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTSGeorgia: In-person voters must produce one of six types of photo ID either when they vote or by following up with their counties within three days. Acceptable forms of ID include, but are not limited to, a driver’s license, passport or military photo ID.
First-time voters can use as identification utility bills, bank statements or government documents that show their name and address if they were not able to prove residency when they first applied to vote, according to Colorado Public Radio.
Mail-in voters must produce a driver’s license number, state ID number or a copy of acceptable voter ID, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Colorado: In-person voters must produce one of 16 types of ID when they vote. Those include, but are not limited to, driver’s licenses, a Medicare or Medicaid card, a student ID or a recent utility bill or paycheck with the voter’s name and address. Voters who cannot produce ID documents can cast provisional ballots, and counties are required to attempt to verify those individuals’ identities.
Mail-in voters must provide a signature. Newly-registered mail-in voters, on the other hand, have to provide one of the 16 aforementioned forms of ID with their mail-in ballot.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS & DROP BOXESGeorgia: Voters must request absentee ballots no more than 78 days before an election, according to GPB. Voters can return those ballot applications two Fridays before the election.
Absentee ballots can be returned by mail or in-person at their county’s early voting centers, which house ballot drop-boxes.
Ballot drop-boxes are permitted, but counties can have no more than one per early voting center or 100,000 people, whichever is fewer, according to GPB. They are permitted only inside early voting centers and those centers’ hours.
Colorado: Counties automatically mail absentee ballots to registered voters about 15 to 20 days before an election, according to Colorado Public Radio. Voters can return those ballots by mail or at ballot drop-boxes.
Colorado allows drop boxes at several types of places; a map on the city of Denver’s website, for example, shows drop boxes at schools, libraries, recreation centers and more. They are available 24/7.
EARLY VOTINGGeorgia: 17 days.
Colorado: 15 days.
FOOD AND WATERGeorgia: It is illegal to provide food or water to people within 150 feet of the boundary of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line.
Colorado: People can provide food and water unless they are wearing campaign gear or accessories bearing the name or image of a candidate, party or issue while within 100 feet of a polling place.
REGISTRATION DEADLINEGeorgia: Georgia permits registration until 28 days prior to Election Day.
Colorado: Colorado permits registration up to and on Election Day.
PAROLEE VOTINGGeorgia: Georgia does not allow parolees to vote. It does not allow prisoners to vote.
Colorado: Colorado allows parolees to vote. It does not allow prisoners to vote.