The Atlanta skyline. (Flickr photo via Georgia National Guard)

A month ago, Microsoft was happy to announce its plans to expand its presence in Georgia and eventually make Atlanta one of the company’s largest hubs in the state.

In a blog post, Smith said Georgia’s new Republican-backed Election Integrity Act, signed by Governor Brian Kemp last week, “contains important provisions that unfairly unfair people’s right to vote legally, safely and securely Restrict way. “

This is an important issue for our country and for Microsoft. We will always work to ensure that everyone can exercise their voting rights legally, safely and securely.

– Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) March 31, 2021

Smith said Microsoft is concerned about the impact of the law on color communities, every voter, and Microsoft employees and their families. He highlighted the most worrying aspects of the law, including restrictions on ballot boxes, restrictions on postal voting and restrictions on preliminary voting slips.

Here’s what Smith had to say about Dropboxing in particular:

The new Georgia law requires every county to have a secure mailbox for postal ballots (which is good), but it limits it to only one per 100,000 registered voters (which is terrible). This means that Fulton County, where most of Microsoft’s employees live, is likely to see an 80 percent reduction in drop boxes from 40 during the 2020 election to just about eight in the future.

In our view, there is no rational basis for Georgian lawmakers to approve secure mailboxes, but to restrict their use so severely. Microsoft is headquartered near Seattle in a county and state where secure mailboxes are almost as convenient as a mailbox. We know firsthand that they make voting more convenient and safer. Sound handling of voting rights should encourage rather than restrict them.

Microsoft’s move required other large companies that had not spoken out loud enough against the law and were faced with growing public boycotts. Those social media calls may have eventually led Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, two of Georgia’s largest corporations, to issue harsh statements calling the law “unacceptable” on Wednesday.

“We hope that companies will come together and make it clear that a healthy company needs a healthy community. And a healthy community requires everyone to have the right to vote conveniently, safely, and securely, ”wrote Smith.

To update: Axios reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook also spoke on the bill, saying, “Apple believes that, thanks in part to the power of technology, it should be easier than ever for any eligible citizen to vote.”