More than 300 CEOs, other executives and companies including Google, Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Facebook have signed a statement defending Americans’ “right to vote” against voter suppression legislation imposed by Republicans across the country.
Voting is the “most basic and fundamental right of all Americans” and the “cornerstone of democracy,” the statement, titled “We stand for democracy,” said in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. , The New York Times and other publications.
“We should all feel responsible for defending the right to vote and opposing any discriminatory legislation or measure that restricts or prevents any eligible voter from having an equal and fair chance to vote,” the statement added.
The announcement was curated by Kenneth Chenault, former CEO of American Express; Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier; and the Black Economic Alliance.
“There is overwhelming support in corporate America for this principle of the right to vote,” Chenault told the Wall Street Journal. “The right to vote is fundamental for America. It is not a partisan issue. Who in their right mind would say they want legislation that will limit people’s ability to vote? ”
Other signatories included Target, Starbucks, Berskshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, several nonprofits and law firms, and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney and Larry David.
The statement does not specify any emerging legislation in state legislatures aimed at making voting more difficult, such as shortening voting hours, reducing polling stations and drop boxes, and increasing voting requirements. postal ballots. It also does not specify actions that companies could take against states that attempt to restrict voting, such as reducing investment.
“We are not prescriptive about the way people express their opposition,” explained Chenault.
Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, UPS and Home Depot – all based in Georgia, which enacted the first major voter suppression law since the loss of Donald Trump – have not signed. But Delta and Coca-Cola issued statements condemning Georgian law last month.
Other companies notably absent included JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, Walmart and PepsiCo.
Removing the GOP vote creates a growing rift between business and Republicans, who have always been allies. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Earlier this month berated companies, ordering them to stay out of politics – except for continued campaign contributions to Republican lawmakers.
Manipulating the vote is a bone of contention with Republicans. The GOP is also in the process of creating a divisive, angry and dangerous constituency that works against a booming economy, experts say.
“No one in the business world wants hostile communities, angry staff who point the finger at and rowdy shareholder bases,” said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management. “It makes your job so much harder to have all the warring constituency groups within themselves, which has become the hallmark of the GOP.”
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