Here’s what corporations have said about Georgia’s new voting law

Gov. Brian Kemp signs Georgia's new voting law. Some Georgia companies have faced growing threats of boycotts from voting rights advocates who say local corporations should have done more to oppose the legislation before it was signed.

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Gov. Brian Kemp signs Georgia's new voting law. Some Georgia companies have faced growing threats of boycotts from voting rights advocates who say local corporations should have done more to oppose the legislation before it was signed.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s Republican-led legislature say a state voting overhaul signed into law last week was necessary to restore confidence in elections and ensure security.

Critics, including Democrats and some voting rights advocates, say the changes make it harder for Georgians to vote, potentially disenfranchising residents, including Black voters. They also have criticized the state’s powerful business chambers and corporations for not doing more to stop the legislation, and some have called for consumer boycotts of Georgia companies.

On Wednesday, nearly a week after the legislation was signed into law, the chief executives of Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola sharply criticized the new voting law as “unacceptable.” Other large companies and business groups based in Georgia have issued statements in recent days encouraging “fair” and “secure” elections without passing judgment on the new law. Some, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, have praised the new law.

Below are recent statements from business groups and companies addressing Georgia’s voting overhaul. The companies have been ordered alphabetically and have their U.S. headquarters in Georgia unless otherwise noted.

Metro Atlanta Chamber

Statement issued by Katie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, on March 25 (read in full)

“Concerns remain in our region and across the state with aspects of SB 202. We will carefully monitor this legislation's implementation, and we will lend our voice to help ensure that every eligible Georgia voter – regardless of political views, race or background – can engage in our voting process."

- Katie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

The Georgia Chamber issued this statement on March 25 (read in full).

“Through codifying full access to weekend voting as well as drop boxes for all counties in our state, this legislation moves Georgia forward in expanding access to the ballot box while ensuring we remain a secure state in which to cast a ballot."

- Georgia Chamber

Business Roundtable (Washington, D.C.)

The Business Roundtable posted this statement on March 31, addressing new voting laws in a number of states, not just in Georgia. (read in full)

“Unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote strike at the heart of representative government. Business Roundtable members believe state laws must safeguard and guarantee the right to vote."

- The Business Roundtable

Black Economic Alliance (Washington, D.C.)

The following statement was signed by 72 Black executives of U.S. companies on March 31 (read in full)

“While the use of police dogs, poll taxes, literacy tests and other overtly racist voter suppression tactics are a thing of the past, Georgia and other states are rushing to impose new and substantial burdens on voting following an election that produced record turnout for both parties."

- Joint statement by 72 Black executives

AFLAC

Aflac emailed the following statement on March 29:

“We remain committed to our previously stated principles that voting should be easy, accessible, secure and transparent. We have been engaged in the process and will continue to be actively involved to ensure that every eligible Georgian can exercise their right to vote, which is the cornerstone of our democracy."

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcon’s owner Arthur Blanks posted this statement via the team’s Twitter account on March 30.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler’ posted this statement via the team’s Twitter account on March 31.

BlackRock (New York)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink posted a statement on his LinkedIn account on March 31 (read in full)

“BlackRock is concerned about efforts that could limit access to the ballot for anyone. Voting should be easy and accessible for ALL eligible voters."

- BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

Cisco (San Jose, California)

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins posted this tweet on March 31.

Coca-Cola

James Quincey, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, posted this message to employees on April 1 (read in full)

“We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation."

- James Quincey, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

Credit: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Credit: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Quincey also made the following statement on CNBC on March 31:

Delta Air Lines

Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s memo to employees on March 31 (read in full)

I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta's values.

- Delta CEO Ed Bastian

Home Depot

Home Depot emailed the following statement on March 29:

“We believe that all elections should be accessible, fair and secure and support broad voter participation. We'll continue to work to ensure our associates, both in Georgia and across the country, have the information and resources to vote. For example, we promoted voter participation in the last election through our internal Get Out The Vote initiative, confirming 15,500 voter registrations among our associates. In addition, we matched more than 1,800 associates with local opportunities to volunteer at polling locations across the country, including 600 technology worker volunteers in Atlanta to support complex technology issues and cybersecurity related to the election. We also donated 9,200 plexiglass dividers across Georgia to help meet poll station safety requirements."

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz USA emailed the following statement on March 31: “MBUSA encourages our employees to vote - including paid time off for election day - and stands against efforts which discourage eligible voters to participate in this vital process. We support the efforts of the Metro Atlanta Chamber who has issued the following statements on this issue, accessible here:”

Microsoft (Redmond, Washington)

Microsoft President Brad Smith’s blog post from March 31 (read in full)

“Already, it's clear to us that the new law contains important provisions that needlessly and unfairly make it more difficult for people to vote. We hope that companies will come together and make clear that a healthy business requires a healthy community."

- Microsoft President Brad Smith

Credit: Stephen Brashear

Credit: Stephen Brashear

Newell Brands

Newell Brand’s emailed the following statement on April 1:

“Newell Brands understands and empathizes with the concerns of voting rights advocates on the passage of SB202 and the potential barriers it may bring to fair and accessible voting for all. Newell will continue to support organizations that are doing the important work to make casting your vote equitable, fair and secure and will continue to provide non-partisan educational resources on the importance of voting to our employees and encourage employees to participate in elections at the local and federal levels."

Porsche

Porsche North America emailed the following statement on March 31:

“Equal access to the polls for every voter is core to a democracy. As an Atlanta-based business, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) supported the work of the Metro Atlanta Chamber with members of the Georgia General Assembly to maximize voter participation and ensure election integrity. We understand the legislative outcome remains subject to debate and hope a resolution can be found between all sides that encourages and enables every eligible vote."

Southern Company

Southern Company did not provide a comment on the issue to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when requested in recent days.

UPS

UPS issued the following statement on March 30:

“UPS supports the facilitation and the ability of all eligible voters to exercise their right to vote. Like other businesses in the community, we actively engaged with political leaders in both parties and other stakeholders to advocate for more equitable access to the polls and for integrity in the election process across the state. We echo the statement by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and stand ready to continue to help in ensuring every Georgia voter has the ability to vote."

WestRock

WestRock emailed this statement on April 1:

“We believe that Democracy works best when every American can make their voice heard through a secure, accessible and fair election process. The role of our government should be to ensure that everyone has an equal and unfettered access to vote in each election. As the newly enacted voting rights law in Georgia is implemented, we will remain steadfast in our support for a strong electoral system – one that not only secures the opportunity for all to vote but also protects the election process going forward."

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