Atlanta – Liberal activists in the United States have increased calls for US corporations to denounce Republican efforts to tighten state voting laws, and businesses accustomed to comfortable political relationships are now facing a growing partisan battle over the right to vote. .
Pressures are mounting on major companies in Texas, Arizona and other states, especially after Major League Baseball’s (MLB) decision on Friday to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta. A joint statement by executives from nearly 200 companies, including HP, Microsoft, PayPal, Target, Twitter, Uber and Under Armor, criticized state legislation “that threatens to make voting more difficult” and says “elections are not improved” when legislators impose new barriers.
The protests come a week after Republican lawmakers in Georgia passed a reform of the state election law that critics say is an attempt to suppress Democratic votes.RELATED
Other companies have joined the chorus of criticism, albeit reluctantly.
Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola Co., two of Georgia’s best-known brands, called the new law “unacceptable,” although they had roles in drafting it. That infuriated Republicans in the state, including Gov. Brian Kemp, and several US senators, who accused the companies of cowering at complaints from activists.
The fight has thrown US corporations into a place they often try to avoid – the center of a partisan political fight. But under threats of boycott and bad publicity, business leaders are showing a new willingness to step into the ring on an issue not directly related to their profits, even if it alienates them from Republican allies.
“We want to hold corporations accountable for the way they react when voting rights are attacked,” said Marc Banks, a spokesman for the NAACP, the advocacy organization for the rights of people of color. “Corporations have a role to play, because when they speak, people listen.”
Civil rights groups sued to block Georgia’s law, which was passed after Democrats won the state’s two senatorial seats in an election that former President Donald Trump falsely called fraudulent. Some activists have called for a boycott of Delta, Coca-Cola and other companies for not trying to block the law.