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All the companies opposing Georgia’s voting restrictions

Some of America’s biggest brands and corporations – from Major League Baseball to Microsoft – are calling out GOP efforts to restrict future turnout in Georgia and across the US

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 07 April 2021 21:17 BST
Joe Biden calls Georgia's sweeping ballot restrictions 'Jim Crow on steroids'

GOP officials in Georgia are facing an ongoing backlash for a restrictive voting-access law.

Signed by governor Brian Kemp last month, the bill brings in tougher requirements for voting ID, forbids volunteers providing food and water for voters waiting in line, and shortens the timeframe for early and absentee voting – among other restrictions.

Democrats and opponents of the bill have called out the state’s governor and GOP officials for adversely affecting turnout among future black voters in the state, while President Joe Biden called the law “un-American” and “sick” following its passing.

A number of firms — including Coca-cola and Delta – have spoken out against the bill and its backers in the GOP, who continue to deny claims of restricting voter rights, and wrongly claiming incidences of 2020 voting fraud.

As have hundreds of other chief executives addressed the issue of voting restrictions more broadly across the US, with corporations from Starbucks to Google calling out “any discriminatory legislation” in a full-page advert for The New York Times.

Some campaigners, who called for the support of big business before the passing of the bill, believe the criticism was too slow, while others have welcomed the delayed intervention from the United State’s CEOs and brands, with voting rights in a swathe of states at risk.

Read more:

Here are the companies that have so far spoken out against Georgia’s voting restrictions.


Issuing the first criticism from Coca-Cola of the Georgia bill, CEO James Quincey told CBNC News last month that what was being proposed was "unacceptable” and “a step backward”.

The CEO of the firm, whose headquarters are in Georgia, claimed that the company “always” opposed the legislation, despite failing to publicly criticise the GOP bid for weeks – and doing so within a day of the bill’s passing.

Days later, Coca-Cola and Mr Quincey said in an official statement that the firm opposed any measures that would “seek to diminish or restrict voter access”.

“We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation,” said Coca-Cola’s CEO.

The company said it would be “supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country” following the Georgia restrictions.

Despite issuing immediate criticism of the bill, Coca-Cola reportedly declined to join a statement by hundreds of corporations on Wednesday voicing opposition to voter suppression, although it did not specify any state in particular.

The New York Times reported that Coca-Cola, in addition to Delta and Home Deport, feared a “backlash” from critics in Georgia, and “did not feel the need to speak again.”


The airline, whose headquarters are in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, at first issued a statement saying the bill had “improved considerably during the legislative process”.

Following a backlash from consumers and opponents of the restrictions, the firm issued a second statement calling the bill “unacceptable”.

“The entire rational for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections," said Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian – after activists called on others to #BoycottDelta.

Mr Bastian continued by saying that for the airline, “the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values”, in remarks that angered members of the GOP.


"We support making voting as accessible and broad-based as possible and oppose efforts to make it harder for people to vote," said Roy Austin, Facebook's deputy general counsel for civil rights.


The company’s president Brad Smith said following the passing of the Georgia bill that “the right to vote is the most cherished aspect of democracy” and that the restrictions “unfairly restrict the rights of people to vote legally, securely, and safely”.

Mr Smith said Microsoft was particularly “concerned by the law’s impact on communities of colour, on every voter, and on our employees and their families”.

“We share the views of other corporate leaders that it’s not only right but essential for the business community to stand together in opposition to the harmful provisions and other similar legislation that may be considered elsewhere,” the Microsoft president added.


In a statement following the passing of the Georgia voting bill, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it “ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote”, in part due to technology.

Mr Cook added in comments to Axios that “American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right”.

The Apple CEO added that the company was in support of “efforts to ensure that our democracy’s future is more hopeful and inclusive than its past”.


“We've long created tools and resources to make it easier for people to vote. But knowing how to vote depends on people being able to vote,” Google’s senior vice president Kurt Walker said in a statement.

“We're concerned about efforts to restrict voting at a local level and we strongly support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”

The California based company was among those who signed the joint statement on Wednesday in support of voting rights, according to the New York Times.


In a statement, the outdoor clothing band said the voter restrictions in Georgia were part of “a new wave of Jim Crow bills that seek to restrict the right to vote”.

Patagonia’s CEO, Ryan Gellert, said last month “that instead of celebrating democracy in action, a group of lawmakers in Georgia and states across America are doing everything in their power to make it harder for their constituents to vote”.

Major League Baseball

The sports league said last month it was pulling its upcoming All Stars game from Atlanta over the passing of voting restrictions, in a move that angered the state’s GOP members. President Biden, meanwhile, welcomed the decision by MLB.

Salesforce, ViacomCBS and others

In a joint statement through Civic Alliance, the voting nonprofit said: "Elections are not improved when lawmakers impose barriers that result in longer lines at the polls or that reduce access to secure ballot dropboxes.”

Companies including Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Lyft, Etsy, Reddit, Snap Inc., Salesforce and ViacomCBS were among the most well known signatories to the remarks from Civic Alliance.

Dozens more companies are reported to have called for voting rights to be protected in future, and issued condemnation of the bill passed by Georgia.

Additional reporting by the REUTERS.

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