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Analysis: As restrictive voting bills multiply, GOP signals it won't bow to corporate pressure

April 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26%. 2 min read.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 08: Demonstrators stand outside of the Capitol building in opposition to House Bill 531 on March 8, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. HB531 will restrict early voting hours, remove drop boxes, and require the use of a government ID when voting by mail. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

As the backlash to Georgia's restrictive voting law intensified last week with big corporations like Delta and Coca-Cola criticizing the law and Major League Baseball announcing it was moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the politics of threats and counter threats became so fierce that it was difficult to determine whether the corporate moves were having their intended effect.

(CNN)As the backlash to Georgia's restrictive voting law intensified last week with big corporations like Delta and Coca-Cola criticizing the law and Major League Baseball announcing it was moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the politics of threats and counter threats became so fierce that it was difficult to determine whether the corporate moves were having their intended effect.

The newfound alliance of corporations and Democrats fighting to protect access to the vote sent a first warning shot to Republican-controlled legislatures around the country that there may be real economic consequences if they continue to pursue restrictive voting legislation under the false pretense of rooting out widespread voter fraud, which simply did not exist in the 2020 election despite former President Donald Trump's efforts to gaslight the American people.

Fighting these proposals at the local levels is the most realistic shot for advocates of voting rights right now since Democrats don't have enough votes in the US Senate to pass legislation like the "For the People Act," which would override many of the restrictive provisions in the new Georgia law and others like it.

But with many other bills curtailing voting rights barreling through GOP-controlled state legislatures around the country, it is not yet clear whether the backlash to the Georgia law, which is known as the "Election Integrity Act of 2021," will actually serve as a deterrent.

Facing the loss of jobs and state revenues that are the inevitable price of the MLB moving the All-Star Game, Democrats like Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist and former candidate for governor, and Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock found themselves in an uncomfortable position where they praised the stance against voter suppression that some major corporations are taking, but also urged businesses, athletes and entertainers to "stay and fight," as Abrams put it, without creating economic havoc for the state's voters.

In an impressive display of hubris -- given that he signed the Georgia voting law creating the economic backlash -- the state's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp argued Saturday at a news conference that Democratic criticism of the voting law had cost "hard-working Georgians" a paycheck.

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