Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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April 7

The Valdosta Daily Times on voting laws:

Democrats do not want people who are not U.S. citizens to vote in our elections.

We know you have heard otherwise.

It is claimed liberals want “undocumented aliens” to vote in U.S. elections so they can defeat Republicans.

The claim is nonsense.

It is a bogus, debunked conspiracy theory.

Still, a lot of people believe it.

Why do people believe the bogus claim?

Well, it is just this simple: It must be true because they saw it on Facebook.

Clearly, there are differences between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to how we conduct open and free elections.

Both sides, Republicans and Democrats, should debate voter access legislation on the merits of their respective positions and not resort to straw men, ad hominem arguments and baseless attacks.

Republicans in Georgia and across the nation have pushed for measures they think will add additional safeguards that progressives think could make it more difficult for some voters, especially people of color, to go to the polls.

Georgia’s new elections laws, drafted by GOP lawmakers, have erupted into a firestorm of opposition, including Major League Baseball yanking the All-Star game from Atlanta. The MLB has said the new laws do not reflect the values of Major League Baseball, and they hoped to send a strong message consistent with their views which champion diversity and inclusion. Coca-Cola and Delta have also strongly criticized the new law.

Gov. Brian Kemp has said MLB and all of those who have dissented simply do not understand Georgia’s new law which, he claims, expands voter access.

Kemp and others accuse the Democrats of spreading conspiracy theories about Georgia’s controversial new voting laws.

It may very well be that progressives have said some things about the new Georgia law which are misleading and even just wrong.

It is absolutely certain, however, that there is no Democrat-led effort in Georgia to allow non U.S. citizens to vote in our elections.

To be clear, it is a federal crime to register ineligible voters.

It is a federal crime for people who are not legally registered to vote to cast a ballot in Georgia or anywhere in the U.S.

H.R. 1, a federal Democrat-led bill in Congress designed to expand voter access, does not — in any way — open the door for non U.S. citizens to vote in our elections.

In fact, H.R. 1 provides safeguards to prevent illegal voting.

No one is seeking to change that — not even Democrats.

Online: https://www.valdostadailytimes.com/

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April 6

The Brunswick News on Major League Baseball’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta:

Biological warfare kills indiscriminately. Everyone in its path is a victim, friend and foe.

Economic warfare acts along the same lines. It hurts everyone, friend and foe.

A recent example of economic warfare is Major League Baseball’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta to some other yet-to-be-identified location. The league is changing locations in protest of Georgia’s new voting laws. It claims — and incorrectly so, it should be noted — that the new laws passed by the Republican state legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp are an infringement upon the voting rights of citizens.

Consequently, the immediate impact of MLB’s decision to find a new site for the all-star game will be on the very men and women who side with MLB. While the entire state stands to benefit from the popular event, Democratic leaning Atlanta will be ground zero. It will suffer the most.

Oddly enough, the only ones going to bat for the working individuals and families who stand to lose out with the pullout is the state’s Republican leadership. They blame false accusations and whining by Democrats like Sen. Raphael Warnock for the change of venue. MLB said its decision was based on conversations with Black players in the league.

Whatever the reason, Atlanta will lose millions of dollars, and it may not end there. Opponents of Georgia’s new voting laws are now in the process of trying to bully corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta and others, pointing the threat of a buyer’s boycott straight at their profits, if they fail to see things their way.

Brace yourselves, working individuals and families. More economic pain very well may be headed your way.

Attacking people who would be impacted the most and where they would be hurt the most, in the pocketbook and at the dinner table, is not the proper place to wage political warfare. Yet it’s happening.

It does not matter who’s behind it, Democrats or Republicans, it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. Go after the offices of the politicians deemed responsible for whatever law or measure is abhored, not after every man, woman and child within a 100-mile radius of them.

Online: https://thebrunswicknews.com/

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April 6

The Daily Citizen-News on National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:

April has been designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that’s a good reminder of the importance of putting down your cellphone or anything else while you drive and putting your focus exactly where it should be: on the road and your surroundings.

Oh, and if common sense and the fear of a deadly wreck aren’t enough to convince you of the need to not drive distractedly, there may just be a ticket in your future if law enforcement sees you endangering yourself and others by not paying proper attention when you’re driving.

Georgia’s “hands-free law” took effect on July 1, 2018, and forbids drivers from holding a phone or supporting a phone with their body when they are driving.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and 16 regional traffic enforcement networks will be conducting specialized distracted driving enforcement operations throughout the state during April.

“Georgia’s hands-free law is saving lives, but we still see too many drivers with a phone in their hand when they are on the road,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said in a press release. “For those who are pulled over for having a phone in their hand, do not ask for a warning because this is your warning to park your phone when you are driving.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as outlined in the press release, “the number of traffic crash deaths linked to driver distraction accounted for almost 9% of all fatalities in the United States in 2019. Drivers in the 15-19 age group had the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of fatal crashes at 9%.”

And “Even though overall traffic fatalities in the United States dropped from 2018 to 2019, distraction-related fatalities increased by 10% from 2018 to 2019.”

“The goal of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to show everyone that driving is a serious responsibility that requires our full attention every time we are behind the wheel,” Poole said. “While we all think of phones when we hear distracted driving, distracted driving is anything that we do behind the wheel that takes our hands, eyes or attention away from the road.”

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety identified three types of distraction for drivers:

- “Manual distractions cause a driver to take their hand off the wheel, like when eating, grooming, dialing a phone number or typing a text message.”

- “Visual distractions cause a driver to take their eyes off the road, such as looking at a navigational device, a crash on the road or signs and billboards.”

- “Cognitive distractions cause a driver to lose their focus on what is happening on the road, like when they are talking on a phone, talking to a passenger or daydreaming.”

Don’t be that person. Don’t put yourself or others in danger when you are driving. As the press release implores, “set ... phones and wireless devices to the ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ setting. This feature will block all calls and messages to your phone when you are on the road and will notify the person trying to contact you that you are driving and will respond when you have reached your destination.”

Life is too precious. Protect it, that of yourself and others, by being fully alert and focused when behind the wheel. You can’t afford not to be.

Online: https://www.dailycitizen.news/