Your weekend editorial page on April 17/18 published a copy of a letter written to the commissioner of baseball. In the letter, the writer stated, “You [Commissioner Manfred], the MLB Players Union, and Major League Baseball have become useful idiots to the leftists who want to ensure there is no election integrity. Did anyone from MLB even read the bill?”
I have a question: Did the writer read the bill? The Bill is SB 202. It’s 98 pages in length and contains 53 sections. I’m still plowing through the new law, studying the changes to existing statutes and reading the new ones.
I happen to agree with the writer. The All Star game should not have been removed from Atlanta. However, not everyone who thinks poorly of Georgia’s new election law is a “useful idiot.”
I criticize much of the law. My take: The Secretary of State (a constitutional officer, voted into office by the people) has been neutered regarding his power to supervise the election process in Georgia. He has been replaced by a new chairperson of the State Elections Board who is chosen by the Georgia House and confirmed by the Georgia Senate. The chairperson is required to be “nonpartisan.” Yeah, right. Also, the law is such that, potentially, administration of the local election process could be taken out of the hands of local elections supervisors.
As for the two examples the writer chose to showcase the benefits of the new law: For her first example, she’s right. Election law already forbids electioneering near polling places. However, by the wording of the new law, a person in line to vote who gives another person in line water or a stick of gum has committed a misdemeanor. Read it! That’s not the intent, but someone could apply the law literally (as written) with such a result. Such folly in wordsmithing a statute breeds contempt for the law in general.
Her second example: Limited drop boxes, but under more control. I’ve voted remotely twice at the east Cobb government complex. The box is just outside, which also houses a police precinct. I doubt the box was in danger of being tampered with. Now, the number of drop boxes will be limited, and the time they are accessible will be shortened. Again, read the law!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.