Signed into law final month, the election laws imposes new voter identification necessities for absentee ballots, empowers state officers to take over native elections boards, limits the usage of poll drop containers and makes it a criminal offense to strategy voters in line to offer them meals and water.
“I have to be respectful and somewhat careful what I say because I’m not a citizen of this country, but I certainly think all great countries and democracies are built on equal voting rights and everyone being able to get to the ballot boxes as easily as possible,” four-time main winner Rory McIlroy advised reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m all for getting people to get out and vote and to have a great democracy, and I’ve chosen to live in this country because I believe this country is the best country in the world. You know, America is the land of opportunity and it’s the American dream. You work hard; you get rewarded. So I believe in all of that stuff.
“But yeah, I’m all for individuals with the ability to have the correct to vote and to have the ability to do it within the simplest way attainable.”
The PGA Tour has already said it won’t be moving the season-ending Tour Championship from Atlanta this year, scheduled for September 2-5, saying it has a financial commitment to the charities and the local community.
Collin Morikawa, the 2020 PGA Championship winner, praised the work the PGA does and believes the voting law should be the main focus of conversations this week when the eyes of the world are watching golf.
“This voter stuff and voter for American residents is essential,” he told reporters. “I feel that is the subject we should always all be speaking about. We should not be speaking about whether or not we’re right here or not. The Masters, the PGA Tour, we do such a superb job and we’re making an attempt to assist communities out and I feel that is our essential focus for the week.
“But overall the topic of voter rights and all that, that should be the topic that we talk about, not if we are here playing golf. We are trying to do our best to help out communities and obviously give back to what we are doing for the week, and that’s our ability to travel around the entire world and around the US and give back and give opportunities, like I said earlier.
“Those alternatives are actually vital.”
In response to the new law — which has been widely criticized by voting rights advocates, civil rights groups and private businesses in the state — Major League Baseball announced it would be moving the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado.
Cameron Champ, one of golf’s brightest prospects and two-time winner on the Tour, says the new law is “surprising” and “irritating.”
“As you’ll be able to inform, it actually targets sure Black communities and makes it more durable to vote, which to me it is everybody’s proper to vote,” he said. “For me to see that, it’s extremely surprising. Obviously, with MLB and what they did and transferring the All-Star Game was an enormous assertion. I do know there is a bunch of different organizations and firms which have moved issues.
“Again, this is a prestigious event, and I know there’s a lot going on with it and the people involved with it. But, again, yeah, it was definitely a little bit frustrating to see that. This week, I’ll definitely be supporting doing some things throughout the week.”
US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau added that range and inclusion is “incredibly important” for golf.
“I think the most important thing we can do is treat everyone equally, and I think growing up, my dad told me that no matter what, you’re going to treat everyone the way you want to be treated,” he stated.
“From my perspective, what’s going on now, I think you look at Augusta National and the PGA Tour and what we’ve been doing to grow the community and grow the sport and grow the charities that we’re able to give back to.
“I feel that is probably the most vital issues that we have to take a look at and begin this event and this championship as a optimistic gentle to the group, optimistic gentle to the world and a chance to indicate individuals the good leisure that we are able to present to the world. I feel that is probably the most vital issues.”
Dianne Gallagher and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.