Augusta National chairman addresses Georgia voter law

Fred Ridley, Augusta National Golf Club chairman, speaks after the conclusion of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur final round on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Augusta.  Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com
Fred Ridley, Augusta National Golf Club chairman, speaks after the conclusion of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur final round on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Augusta. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

AUGUSTA - Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley took part of his press conference prior to the 2021 Masters to address Georgia’s new voting law. The recently enacted law has proven controversial and led to Major League Baseball to move its all-star game from Atlanta last week.

Here is what Ridley said as a statement before taking questions:

“Before I close, I want to speak about an issue that presently is of great public interest: The recently enacted Georgia voting law. I believe, as does everyone in our organization, that the right to vote is fundamental in our democratic society. No one should be disadvantaged in exercising that right, and it is critical that all citizens have confidence in the electoral process. This is fundamental to who we are as a people. We realize that views and opinions on this law differ, and there have been calls for boycotts and other punitive measures. Unfortunately, those actions often impose the greatest burdens on the most vulnerable in our society. And in this case, that includes our friends and neighbors here in Augusta who are the very focus of the positive difference we are trying to make.”

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During the question and answer portion of the press conference, Ridley was asked directly about the law.

Q. Following up on the Georgia voting law, just to be clear, are you for the law or against the law? And if you are against it, what does the Club, with its considerable power, plan to do about it?

A. I don’t think that my opinion on this legislation should shape the discussion. As I stated in my previous comments, I believe and I am confident that every member of this club believes that voting is an essential fundamental right in our society and that -- as I stated, that anything that disadvantages anyone to vote is wrong and should be addressed. I’m not going to speak to the specifics of the law, but I do know that the best way for -- I think there’s a resolution, and I think that resolution is going to be based on people working together and talking and having constructive dialogue because that’s the way our democratic society works. And while I know you would like to -- for us to make a proclamation on this. I just don’t think that is going to be helpful to ultimately reaching a resolution. And so we would like to encourage people to talk, to communicate, to let the democratic process work. And hopefully, these fundamentals that I’ve stated are so important to us and I think everyone in this room, can be achieved.

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