USA: Black Voters Matter, New Georgia Project & others call on companies to oppose Georgia voter suppression law; some speak out after law passed
On 25 March 2021, Georgia's Republican-controlled government passed new legislation that restricts voting access in the state. Civil rights groups and many Democrats have condemned the law as unfairly targeting and impacting Black and other voters of color.
Key changes to voting in Georgia due to this new law, as identified by the New York Times, include (among others):
- Voters will now have less time to request absentee ballots.
- There are strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots.
- Early voting is expanded in a lot of small counties, but probably not in more populous ones.
- Offering food or water to voters waiting in line now risks misdemeanor charges.
- If you go to the wrong polling place, it will be (even) harder to vote.
- The G.O.P.-led legislature is empowered to suspend county election officials.
Prior to the passage of the law, New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, and the Georgia NAACP called on companies, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, to oppose restrictions on voting access. Advocates also engaged in direct action focused on these companies and 72 Black executives published an open letter in The New York Times urging US companies to speak out about new restrictive voting rights laws being advanced in at least 43 states.
Companies did not publicly oppose the legislation prior to its passage. Several company executives, including at Delta, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, have since condemned the law following its passage. In addition, Major League Baseball has also announced that it would no longer hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta this summer 2021.