Voting News

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott balks at first pitch at Rangers opening baseball game

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott balks at first pitch at Rangers baseball opener

Interior of Globe Life Field in Arlington
Globe Life Field in Arlington. Photo by Kelly Gavin/Texas Rangers

In pouty news, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott refused to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game on April 5, and has declared that he'll have the state of Texas boycott all Major League Baseball events.

In a letter to the Texas Rangers, Abbott said he was responding to the league's decision to relocate its All-Star Game to Colorado from Georgia, which has enacted a set of restrictive voting laws that include a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail.

Abbott said he had been looking forward to tossing out the first pitch until the MLB adopted "what has turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia."

"It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives," Abbott said, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he himself seemed to be engaged in the exact same activity.

In addition to missing out on the throwing of the first pitch, Abbott said he will not participate in an event held by MLB, nor will the state seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.

In its explanation for moving the All-Star game, the MLB said it "fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box."

Georgia's new voting restrictions include giving voters less time to request absentee ballots, requiring new voter ID requirements, and banning the handing out of water or snacks to people waiting in line to vote.

In the 2020 election, Georgia's two U.S. Senate seats were both won by Democrats.

The Texas Legislature is pursuing similar restrictions on voting in Texas, prompting protests from Texas companies such as American Airlines, Microsoft, and Dell Technologies.

Republicans pushed legislation through the Texas Senate that would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting, prevents officials from mailing out absentee ballot applications, and give partisan poll workers the ability to record voters at the polls. It still has to work its way through the Texas House.

The Rangers' new Globe Life Field in Arlington is the only MLB stadium that opened at 100 percent capacity on opening day, and according to a Rangers' spokesperson, the game was sold out, as it has been every year since 1996.