Why baseball should have kept the All-Star Game in Georgia

Consider this alternative: The All-Star Game stays in Georgia. But the event—a three-day affair—is built around a multi-front campaign to address the restrictions imposed by the new law. None of it would need to be framed as partisan. It would be purely pro-voting, pro-democracy—an equal-opportunity push to be sure the good old-fashioned American election process worked.

The example of Wisconsin in 2020 suggests that voter-restriction efforts can trigger huge blowback if they’re sufficiently publicized—and there’s almost no organization that could shine more sunlight on the situation, and reach more people, than a major sports league. The players fan out across the state, holding rallies to highlight the restrictions in the law, if possible at locations near voter registration offices. People attending are given detailed instructions about how to apply for government-issued IDs. A series of speeches and panels, much like the National Basketball Association offers during its All-Star event, highlights exactly how Georgia’s new law in fact imposes serious burdens on the franchise.

Along with these programs, fundraising events featuring the players could have raised serious sums of money to fund nonpartisan efforts to get prospective voters registered, and to pay for broadcast and digital advertising spelling out the malevolent intent and effect of these new rules.