In the memo, Mr Bastian said that it was only after the law was passed that he really understood the extent to which it would impose restrictions on black voters.

“Now that we have time to fully understand everything in the bill, as well as discussions with executives and employees in the black community, it is evident that the bill contains provisions that will allow many under-represented voters, especially black voters, to make it harder to move their constitutional right to choose their representatives, ”he said. “That’s wrong.”

Mr Bastian went further and said that the new law was based on false deceptions.

“The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: There was widespread electoral fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” he said. “That is simply not true. Unfortunately, this excuse is used in states across the country trying to pass similar laws to restrict voting rights. “

Several other companies also addressed the issue on Wednesday.

Larry Fink, the executive director of BlackRock, made a statement on LinkedIn saying the company was concerned about the wave of new restrictive voting laws. “BlackRock is concerned about efforts that could restrict anyone’s access to ballot papers,” said Fink. “Voting should be easy and accessible for ALL eligible voters.”

The struggle for voting rights

Amid months of false claims by former President Donald J. Trump that the 2020 election was stolen, Republican lawmakers in many states are marching forward to pass laws that make voting harder and that change the way elections are conducted, something the Democrats and even some do Elections frustrate officials in their own party.

    • A key issue: The rules and procedures of elections have become a central issue in American politics. The Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal law institute at New York University, counts 361 bills in 47 states trying to tighten voting rules. At the same time, 843 bills were introduced with provisions to improve access to voting.
    • The basic measures: Restrictions vary by state, but may include restricting the use of ballot boxes, adding identification requirements for voters requesting postal votes, and removing local laws that allow automatic registration for postal voting.
    • Other extreme measures: Some measures go beyond changing voting, including adjusting electoral college and judicial electoral rules, curbing citizen-led electoral initiatives, and banning private donations that provide resources for managing elections.
    • Pushback: These Republican efforts have led the Democrats in Congress to find a way to get federal electoral laws passed. A comprehensive voting rights bill was passed in March, but faces tough obstacles in the Senate. Republicans have been unanimous against the proposal, and even if the law did go into effect, it would likely face major legal challenges.
    • Florida: Measures include restricting the use of dropboxes, adding more identification requirements for postal ballot papers, requiring voters to request a postal vote for each election, limiting who can collect and submit ballot papers, and further empowering partisan observers during the election counting process.
    • Texas: The next big step could come here, with the Republicans in the legislature pushing aside the objections of the corporate titans and putting forward an extensive electoral law that would be among the strictest in the nation. This would impose new restrictions on early voting, prohibit drive-through voting, threaten election officials with harsher penalties, and greatly empower partisan poll observers.
    • Other states: Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislation passed a law that would restrict the distribution of postal ballots. The bill, which includes removing voters from the state’s permanent pre-election list if they do not cast a vote at least every two years, may be just the first in a series of voting restrictions enacted there. Georgia Republicans passed sweeping new voting laws in March that restrict ballot boxes and make the distribution of water within certain limits of a polling station an offense. Iowa has also set new boundaries, including reducing the deadline for early voting and personal voting hours on election day. And voting restriction bills were passed in the Republican-led legislature in Michigan.

Mark Mason, Citi’s chief financial officer, called Georgia law discriminatory in a post on LinkedIn.

“I am appalled by the recent voter suppression laws passed in the state of Georgia,” said the black Mason. “I see it as a shame that our country’s efforts to prevent black Americans from fully engaging in our constitutional suffrage continue to this day.”

Chuck Robbins, the executive director of Cisco and who grew up in Georgia, said on Twitter that “voting is a fundamental right in our democracy” and that “governments should work to make voting easier, not harder.”