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Ross: How GOP bid to restrict Georgia voting could end up backfiring

People wait in line for early voting at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA in October 2020. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)

The heads of some pretty big corporations have decided that they do not want to end up on the wrong side of history, and that means stepping to the opposite side of a new voting law in Georgia.

The CEOs of Delta and Coca Cola, with their HQs in Atlanta, were joined by Microsoft President Brad Smith in rejecting the law as unacceptable.

Microsoft was especially critical of the requirement that drop boxes must close four days before an election.

“Can anyone imagine telling taxpayers that they must stop using a mailbox to send in their tax return four days before taxes are due?” he wrote. “Why should any state tell its voters that they must stop using a voting drop box four days before Election Day?”

But the law does just that – it also makes it a misdemeanor to hand out water within 25 feet of any voter waiting in line. Even if it’s non-partisan water! Is that suppression? Or is it that Georgia just wants to make sure people really, truly want to vote, and aren’t just doing it on a whim? Who knows?

What we do know is that we now have some really big corporations that sound amenable to making really big contributions toward getting out the vote in the 2022 Georgia election, which is when newly-elected Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock will have to defend his Senate seat. That’s also a seat that’s the key to the Democrats maintaining control.

I would expect that with the support of companies like Delta, Microsoft, and Coca Cola, any Georgia voters who line up to vote — and who are willing to walk at least 25 feet to the left or right of the line – will not only have access to water, but Coke, Cherry Coke, Orange Vanilla Coke, and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero, with Delta Flight attendants serving first-class meals, and maybe even featuring Microsoft problem-solvers who can help them use Bing. In certain neighborhoods, Georgia voting lines could be like street fairs.

Just my guess.

But in the same way that nothing helps gun sales like the government trying to restrict guns, nothing would make me more determined to vote than seeing my government trying to shut me out.

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