Threats of industry boycott begin in wake of Georgia election law

Politics

“I was proud to sign S.B. 202 to ensure elections in Georgia are secure, fair, and accessible. I appreciate the hard work of members of the General Assembly to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted, along with the above photo.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – From film to sports to food, talk of boycotting Georgia industries has begun in the wake of an overhaul of state election laws.

Signed off by Gov. Brian Kemp Thursday just hours after the legislature passed, the bill creates new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, gives the state more control of county elections boards and makes it illegal to give food or water to voters in line.

Ultimately, the bill Kemp signed is less restrictive than original proposals. The measure also expands early voting access in many counties and allows boards to begin processing absentee ballots two weeks before the election.

But critics have said it’s rooted in unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and targets urban counties with more Democrats and Black voters. Many are threatening to pull business in support of voter rights.

The executive director of the MLB Players Association told the Boston Globe players are ready to discuss moving the 91st All-Star Game from Atlanta this July. “If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation,” Tony Clark told the Globe.

“Ford V. Ferrari” and “Logan” director James Mangold tweeted Thursday, “I will not direct a film in Georgia.”

Some filming for “Ford V. Ferrari” took place in Atlanta, Savannah and Statesboro.

“Georgia has been using cash to steal movie jobs from other states that allow people to vote. I don’t want to play there,” Mangold told The Wrap. “I am not telling anyone else what to do. I just can’t work there till this changes.”

In May 2019, Kemp signed a controversial bill banning most abortions after six weeks. The “heartbeat bill” was ultimately struck down by a federal judge but not before films pulled production in the state. Savannah lost at least two.

Voting rights activists are reportedly calling for a boycott of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola amid the company’s silence on the new law.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson — who was selected as one of Georgia’s Democratic electors last year — joined in on the call, tweeting, in part, “I am not feeling like purchasing or consuming @CocaCola or any of its products for quite some time.”

Other activists have said boycotting the state would do more harm than good.

“That would hurt middle class workers and people grappling with poverty,” tweeted Bernice King, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr.

“It would increase the harm of both racism and classism,” she added.

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