On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump released a statement on Georgia’s election integrity law. He criticized the bill for not going far enough and encouraged supporters to vote with their wallets on the issue of election integrity.
“Boycott all of the woke companies that don’t want Voter I.D. and Free and Fair Elections,” Trump declared.
Georgia-based Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot have attacked Georgia’s election integrity law, echoing President Joe Biden’s declaration that the law represents “Jim Crow on steroids” because it requires voter ID to register for absentee ballots. Apple CEO Tim Cook, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and 72 black business leaders joined the chorus of opposition to what they characterized as Republican efforts to restrict voting rights.
Perhaps most egregiously, Major League Baseball (MLB) pulled the All-Star Game out of Georgia over the bill, after Biden encouraged the move. This will cost Georgia an estimated $100 million.
On Monday, a Georgia state representative tore into Biden, noting that Biden’s home state of Delaware has more restrictive voting laws than Georgia. New York, the MLB’s home state, also has more restrictive voting laws.
Trump’s call for a boycott will resonate with Republicans and conservatives. While leftists demonize voter ID, claiming that requiring a valid ID to vote is a form of “Jim Crow” oppression (even though air passengers are required to have a valid ID), voter ID requirements are extremely popular.
According to a recent poll from the Honest Elections Project, 77 percent of Americans support requiring an ID to vote. This includes majorities of self-identified Biden voters (62 percent to 24 percent opposed), black voters (64 percent to 22 percent opposed), and Latino voters (78 percent to 16 percent opposed).
Most voters (64 percent) said they want to strengthen voting safeguards to prevent fraud, rather than eliminate them to make voting “easier.” Even majorities of black voters (51 percent), Hispanic voters (66 percent), urban voters (59 percent), and Independent voters (61 percent) agreed.
Trump attacked the Georgia bill, ironically illustrating that it is far more moderate than Democrats claim.
“Too bad the desperately needed election reforms in Georgia didn’t go further, as their originally approved Bill did, but the Governor and Lt. Governor would not go for it,” Trump lamented. “The watered-down version, that was just passed and signed by Governor Kemp, while better than before, doesn’t have Signature Matching and many other safety measures, which were sadly left out.” (Supporters of the law claim that signature matching is more subjective while requiring a valid ID for an absentee ballot, which the law does, is more objective.)
Trump argued that the bill “should have been passed before the 2020 Presidential Election, not after.”
Unfortunately, the former president was correct. The new law will prevent the kind of shenanigans that Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) engaged in during the 2020 election. CTCL sent funds to election offices in blue areas, ramping up turnout that benefitted Joe Biden. The new law rightly makes this practice illegal, but the reform comes too late.
Trump also raised questions about the “chain of custody records for over 400,000 Absentee Ballots.” This is a serious concern worth investigating.
Trump has continued to claim that he really won the 2020 presidential election. While valid concerns about the election remain, the right response to those concerns is not to re-litigate 2020 but to secure the process of voting for 2022 and 2024.
The former president is right to rally the troops behind popular reforms like voter ID and to castigate woke capital for opposing Georgia’s new election integrity law.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.