Top executives speak out against voting limits after Republicans tell them to stay out of politics
Hundreds of business executives signed on to a letter released Wednesday condemning efforts to restrict voting rights around the country in response to a number of GOP-led bills after Republicans urged companies to stay out of politics.
The New York Times reported that the letter, which will appear in ads in the Times and The Washington Post, was signed by executives from major brands including Google, Amazon, Netflix and Starbucks and is meant as a nonpartisan expression of support for voting rights.
“It should be clear that there is overwhelming support in corporate America for the principle of voting rights,” said Kenneth Chenault, an organizer of the letter and former American Express CEO, to the Times.
The statement also does not mention specific bills, to allow companies to avoid taking political stances against individual pieces of legislation.
“We are not being prescriptive,” Chenault added to the Times. “There is no one answer.”
At least one company that recently spoke out against a newly passed law in Georgia, Coca-Cola, did not sign on to the letter, which comes after Republican backlash to statements condemning new Georgia voting restrictions from brands headquartered in the state.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called on corporations to remain politically neutral, saying last week: “My warning to corporate America is to stay out of politics.”
A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase, which also did not sign on to the letter, added to the Times: “We publicly made our own strong statement last month about the critical importance of every citizen being able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”
Republicans in numerous states are considering restrictions on voting, including bans on providing food and drink to those waiting in line and reductions on mail-in ballot access. Democrats and voting experts have accused the party of targeting minority voters who vote for Democrats in higher numbers with restrictions aimed at discouraging people from participating in elections.
President Biden has joined in the criticism and referred to the new law passed in Georgia as “Jim Crow in the 21st century” last month.
This article was corrected at 11:35 a.m. to remove a line that incorrectly stated Home Depot had spoken out against the Georgia law.
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