Coca-Cola, Home Depot raise concern over Georgia bills that restrict voting

Major companies based in Georgia such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot said they agreed with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce raising concern regarding legislation that would limit voting access, according to a report by The Washington Post released on Monday.

In statements to the Post, Coca-Cola and Home Depot said they were “aligned” with the Georgia business group.

Delta Air Lines, another major Georgia-based company, also offered a statement supporting voting rights.

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“Ensuring an election system that promotes broad voter participation, equal access to the polls, and fair, secure elections processes are critical to voter confidence and creates an environment that ensures everyone’s vote is counted,” a representative for Delta Air Lines, which is headquartered in Atlanta, told the Post.

Voting activists had called on Georgia’s business community to publicly oppose two state bills that would limit early voting hours, restrict drop boxes for mail-in ballots and reduce early voting on Sundays.

The legislation is seen as making it more difficult for Black Americans to vote. Black church groups in particularly have organized trips to the polls on Sundays.

The measures are being offered after President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE narrowly won the state in November over former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE, becoming the first Democrat since 1972 to take the state's electoral votes.

In January, two Democrats unseated GOP senators in runoff elections in the state.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce had issued a statement this month outlining their stance on the new state measures.

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“The Georgia Chamber supports accessible and secure voting while upholding election integrity and transparency,” the group said. “Simply put, we believe that it should be easy to vote, hard to commit fraud and that Georgians should have faith and confidence in secure, accessible, and fair elections.”

Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist who ran for the state's governorship in 2018, has received much of the credit for turning Georgia blue in the 2020 races. 

She has called the state bills “racist,” likening them to “Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”

Although companies have signaled their opposition to limiting voter access, activists say they want them to do more, the Post reports.

“These corporations talk a big game about racial justice,” Chris Baumann, president of the Service Employees International Union, said in a statement. “But if the companies that profit from Black and brown people claim they back all Georgians, then they have to show up now when it counts.”

Editor's note: Updated at 2 p.m. to reflect that multiple companies told the Washington Post they "aligned" with the statement issued by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.