State Watch

North Carolina county bans Coke machines over company's criticism of Georgia voting law

Officials in Surry County, N.C., have approved a measure mandating the removal of all Coca-Cola machines from government facilities after the company's stated opposition to an election law passed in Georgia. 

In a letter written to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey and obtained by NBC News, Surry County Commissioner Ed Harris called Quincey's critical comments regarding the Georgia election bill "corporate political commentary favoring the Democratic party." 

"Our Board felt that was the best way to take a stand and express our disappointment in Coca-Cola's actions, which are not representative of most views of our citizens," Harris wrote to Quincey. "Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company are more considerate of all your customers' viewpoints."

After the bill was passed by the state legislature, several Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola publicly decried the measure, saying it amounts to voter suppression and unfairly restricts access to the polls for minority voters specifically.

Quincey said the measure "unacceptable."

"Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards," he said at the time.

Several prominent Republicans have called on conservatives to boycott Coca-Cola and other companies who have criticized GOP-led voting measures.

Harris, who is an elected official in a county former President Trump won in both 2016 and 2020, said Coca-Cola was proving it supports "the out-of-control cancel culture and bigoted leftist mob."

"Michael Jordan once said 'Republicans buy sneakers too' when asked why he didn't make public comments about politics," he said. "Citizens of Surry County and across America are growing increasingly tired of large multinational corporations and their CEOs pushing an increasingly intolerant, bigoted, left-wing, divisive political agenda on its customers."

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told NBC News it was aware of the recently passed measure in Surry County. 

"Representatives from our local bottler have reached out to the county commissioners, and they look forward to continuing their productive conversations with those officials," the company said. 

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