American businesses are facing pressure to oppose bills being passed in many state legislatures that civil rights activists say will make it harder for more people to vote.
Last month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law The law overhauls the way elections in the state work. Among the changes made by the extensive, Republican-funded electoral package are restrictions to mail voting and give the state legislature greater control over deregulation. votes, including a new ability to view county electoral activities ineffective and against local government.
This law also undermined the role of foreign minister in regulating elections. The current person of that office, Republican Brad Raffensperger, drew the anger of then President Donald Trump and his allies for defending the integrity of the 2020 electioneven during a phone call Trump suggested that Raffensperger would be able to “get 11,780 votes,” enough to cross President Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the state.
Georgia is not the only state in which Republican lawmakers have pursued such changes – others include Texas and Arizona. But the new Peach state law has sparked significant outcry from suffrage activists and civil rights organizations. Boycott calls have taken the lead sports tournaments and make a film to move business out of Georgia.
Top employers in Atlanta Delta and Coca-Cola make strong statements to protect their voting rights but not until after Kemp signed the bill into law.
On Wednesdays, hundreds of major US companies, chief executives and other celebrities signed a statement oppose laws that limit the rights of voters. The statement ran like a two-page advertisement in several major newspapers with the headline, “We support democracy.”
“Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy and we call on all Americans to join us in taking a non-partisan stance for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans, “Part of the statement.
Statement cited previously by American Express
CEO Ken Chenault and Merck
CEO Ken Frazier. Among the signatories 9 out of 30 are included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In addition to Amex and Merck, Apple Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
signed the open letter.
Previously, Business Roundtable issue a statement argued that “state law must protect and guarantee the right to vote.” The Business Roundtable also called for “a bipartisan effort to provide more access to voting and encourage broad voter participation.”
MarketWatch asked the 30 companies that make up the current Dow Jones Industrial Average
why they have or did not choose to sign the statement and about their stance on the right to vote.
Here’s what they said:
did not comment on why the company did not sign the open letter. A company spokesperson instructed MarketWatch a statement on the company’s website that reflects the company’s voter campaign history. “We support equal access and opportunity for all eligible voters to participate in the electoral process,” the statement reads.
did not comment on opting out of the public letter. In a statement, a company spokesperson noted that Chevron provides paid vacation time for its employees to vote. “We believe that any changes to state law are meant to ensure fairness, openness and integrity in the voting process and make it easier for citizens to vote,” the company said. “Ultimately, the role of governments and elected officials is to transparently address issues like this with the participation of civil society.”
Cisco systems did not provide additional comment on the decision to continue signing the open letter. However, Cisco CEO and President Chuck Robbins previously said on Twitter that “governments should work to make voting easier, not difficult.” He argued that the defense of voting rights was “a matter of right and wrong.”
had previously opposed Georgia’s new voting law, saying it had not seen the open letter, initiated by the Black Economic Union, but noted that the company was “open to listen to their views. ” The company added that it focuses on “meeting and collaborating with local groups.”
didn’t say why it didn’t sign the letter. But the company notes that it favors positions offered by the Business Roundtable and the Citizens Union. “We believe that the right to vote is essential for a strong democracy and to be protected,” the spokesman said. Dow provides employees with paid vacation time to vote.
told MarketWatch they had “decided that the most suitable approach for us to take was to continue to emphasize our statement that all elections must be accessible, fair and secure. , while supporting broad voter participation and continuing to work to ensure our associates in Georgia and across the country have the information and resources to vote. ”A home improvement retailer headquartered in Atlanta.
Did not specifically comment on why it did not sign the statement Wednesday. A company spokesperson said, however, that Intel is signing a letter from the Enterprise for Voting Rights coalition calling for the Senate to pass voting laws, such as American House did. “As our CEO, Pat Gelsinger, said, Intel opposes any law that seeks to reduce the right or opportunity to vote for US citizens,” the spokesperson said.
note that the company made a “strong statement last month on the vital importance of every citizen being able to exercise their basic right to vote”. CEO Jamie Dimon has had previously stated opposing efforts to “possibly prevent” Americans from exercising their right to vote.
Microsoft Did not provide further comment on his options to sign the statement Wednesday. Notably, the company’s CEO and chairman – Satya Nadella and Brad Smith – both signed the statement with the company itself. In March, Smith has published a blog post raised concerns by Microsoft about Georgia’s new law, saying it “contains important terms that are unnecessary and unfair that make it harder for people to vote.”
note that it “is in line with Business Roundtable’s statement advocating access to voting rights” and told MarketWatch that it “sent a notice this week to all US employees to reinforce its commitment. We are about voter access, as well as the steps we have made voting easier. ”It did not sign the letter released Wednesday.
Procter & Gamble
Did not comment on Wednesday’s statement. However, a spokesperson introduced MarketWatch to a post on LinkedIn earlier by the company’s CEO, David Taylor. In the post, Taylor noted that the company “is not a political institution” and does not “have a place for every candidate or legislative section.” He argued that Americans should be able to vote “easily, safely and securely,” noting that the company provides paid time off for its employees to participate in the election.
Sales force said they were “involved in voting rights-related issues as part of [the] a non-partisan policy “was given by the equitable and racially equal task force of the company. A company spokesperson added that Salesforce believes “everyone who qualifies should have equal access to the ballot box.”
CEO and President Alfred Kelly Jr. said the United States “must have a voting system that allows everyone to vote in an accessible, fair and highly integrity process” in the a post on LinkedIn earlier this week. He also said that voting right should not be a partisan issue. The company extended its employee time off policy from two to four hours last year and plans to expand it to eight this year. The company did not say why it did not participate in a joint statement released Wednesday.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
did not state why the company chose not to participate in Wednesday’s open letter. But a company spokesperson noted that they believe “strongly that fair and safe access to voting is a fundamental constitutional right and that each qualified voter will be able to exercise the right to vote. This is the most complete way. “
has highlighted its participation in the Business Roundtable’s earlier statement. “During the last month, there were a number of statements and general letters from the business community regarding voting rights,” said a company spokesperson. “Walmart supports the recently issued statement of the Business Roundtable, for which our CEO Doug McMillon has been heavily involved in drafting as the chairman of the BRT. The BRT statement affirms that our voting rights and the integrity of our elections are the foundation of our democracy and we have shared that with our associates ”.
The following companies did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for direct comment on Wednesday’s joint statement:
Johnson & Johnson