Over a hundred American companies, including Starbucks Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Netflix, Cisco, Bank of America, Ford Motors Co, and others, declared to oppose voting restrictions that several states are considering to implement. Moreover, the groups of activists say the curbs – cited in voting right bills already approved in Georgia and being considered in, among other states, Arizona and Texas – are precisely targeting racial minorities such as Black people.
As many as 100 CEOs and other senior business leaders from American companies attended a massive Zoom conference call on Saturday to discuss the possibility of a unified effort against Republican measures across the nation to suppress voting rights. Huffpost
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In a letter published in New York Times, the companies said they all should feel a self-responsibility to protect the right to cast a vote and oppose any biased measures or legislation that prevent or curb any eligible voter from having a fair and equal opportunity vote. Furthermore, the statement was the initiative of Ken Frazier, the Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co, and Ken Chenault, the former CEO of American Express, Chief Executive Officer.
In an interview with Reuters, Chenault says that it was important for firms to declare some of the main principles of democracy, and the most important is the right to vote. Both these executives pushed for firms to take a mutual stance on a Zoom call with around a hundred CEOs, corporate directors, lawyers, and investors on Saturday.
Republican Lawmakers Criticized the Act of CEOs
Republican representatives slammed the CEOs of companies for raising voice on the matter. Chenault said the group that backed the letter, which contains the Black Economic Alliance, would not be prescriptive about how firms should oppose the specific pieces of legislation. Moreover, Republicans all over the United States are using false claims of former Republican President Donald Trump about voter fraud to back state-level changes they say required to restore election integrity.
However, adversaries aimed to exclude residents who tend not to vote Republican Party. The top executive of over thirty Michigan-based companies, including Ford and General Motors Co, proactively opposed Republican-backed legislation in a separate statement that could limit voting there.
Atlanta-based Delta Airlines Inc and Coca-Cola were not among the participants of the Wednesday letter but extinguished individual statements calling the voting restrictions in Georgia intolerable. On the request for comment on Wednesday’s letter, Delta declined to do so at the moment. Coca-Cola said it didn’t saw the letter but was open to hearing the viewpoint of the Black Economic Alliance.