Large US corporations and sports teams publicly condemn a controversial one, almost a week later and proxies began criticizing companies for their silence and threatening to boycott some of them.
Top executives from Georgia-based giants Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, as well as the country’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, are now making public statements calling the legislation “false” and “based on a lie,” and swear unspecified action will help change it.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase, said Wednesday that the elections must be open to all Americans. Without referring specifically to Georgia, Dimon said Chase opposes efforts that prevent Americans from voting.
Meanwhile, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees in an internal memo on Wednesday that the law “is inconsistent with Delta’s values”.
“Now that we have had time to fully understand everything that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and contributors in the black community, it is evident that the bill contains provisions that will make it impossible for many under-represented voters, in particular black voters will make it more difficult to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives, “said Bastian. “That’s wrong.”
Citi and Microsoft also raised concerns about the Georgia law on Wednesday. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC on Wednesday that Georgia’s new electoral law was “unacceptable” and “a step backwards”.
“This legislation is wrong and needs to be corrected,” said Quincey. “We will continue to campaign privately and even more clearly in public.”
The Atlanta Hawks basketball team and the Atlanta Falcons football team also expressed their disdain for the law.
“The right to vote is just sacred,” said Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons. “We should work to make voting easier and not more difficult for every eligible citizen.”
Among other things, Georgia law requires photo ID to vote by postal vote. That is an option that more than 1.3 million voters in Georgia during the. It also reduces the time people have to request a postal vote and limits where ballot boxes can be placed. Democrats and constituencies said the bill will disproportionately affect black voters. Georgia’s NAACP Chapter is .
Georgia. Governor Brian Kemp insisted that the new electoral law was misrepresented by company bosses. He also accused some business leaders of ignoring their role in developing the law. In a statement Wednesday, Kemp said Bastian’s criticism of the electoral law “is in stark contrast to our talks with the company, ignoring the content of the new law and unfortunately continuing to spread the same false attacks repeated by party political activists.”
Bastian, Dimon and Quincey did not provide any information on how their companies intend to crack down on Georgian law, but offered to keep an eye on the effects over the coming months.
Delta first issued a statement touting some parts of the law, such as: However, B. the Extended Weekend Voting said, “We understand that there are concerns about other provisions in the legislation and work on this important effort continues.”
The bill, passed last week, sparked calls for a boycott of large Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot and UPS for not opposing it. Home Depot and UPS have not yet spoken out publicly against the law.
Perhaps some Americans hope to hear these companies’ stance, partly because Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot have different boards of directors than the average S&P 500 company. Four out of 15 UPS board members are People of Color, or nearly 30%. A recent study by recruiting firm Spencer Stuart found that the largest 200 companies in the S&P 500 stock index had an average of 10% of their board members black. Latino directors made up another 4%.
At Coca-Cola, three of the 12 board members, or 25%, are colored, while Delta and Home Depot have two of the 12 different board members, or 17%.
A group of 72 black businesspeople are hoping that more large corporations will denounce Georgia’s change. In a letter to the American company, former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and other black leaders noted that more than 40 states are considering election changes similar to Georgia. Chenault said corporations have to choose one side: either you want more people to vote, or you believe in voter suppression.
“The reality is that companies have remained silent on this issue and that’s why we said action needed to be taken.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.