WASHINGTON, D.C., April 6, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Congressmen Blake Moore and Chris Stewart on Tuesday released a statement saying they are “disappointed” by the critical corporate responses to Georgia’s new voting law.
Critics of the controversial bill, including leading Georgia Democrat, Stacey Abrams, say Georgia’s Election Reform Bill, signed into law on March 25, restricts voting by mail, limits the window in which absentee ballots can be requested, cuts the number of locations and times ballot drop boxes can be accessed, and bans groups from handing out food and water to those waiting to vote. The law also gives Georgia’s Republican legislature unprecedented power over local election boards deemed to be “low-performing.”
After the bill’s signing, Abrams, considered a front runner for the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s governor’s race in 2022, tweeted:
Georgia Republicans want to hide their shameful actions from public scrutiny. It’s Jim Crow in a suit + tie: cutting off access, adding restrictions, encouraging more “show me your papers” actions to challenge a citizen’s right to vote. Facially neutral but racially targeted.
Shortly after the bill was passed organizations doing business in Georgia were compelled to take a stand.
Major League Baseball was among the first to respond, announcing it was moving this year’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies.
Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola, both headquartered in Atlanta, have both been critical of the law, and released statements of non-support.
Other businesses that have been publicly critical include Home Depot, Microsoft, Porsche, Facebook, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, and pharmaceutical company Merck.
It’s that corporate response that sparked the following statement from Stewart and Moore:
“As members of Congress, it is our honor and privilege to protect Americans’ freedom of speech. Diversity of thought is what drives our democracy and allows our nation to be the most free and inclusive in the world. Private citizens and corporations alike enjoy the ability to make decisions based on their convictions — a right we will always fight to uphold.
“However, we are disappointed in the large corporations that have bent to misinformed political pressure over Georgia’s recent voting law. We believe the statements and decisions made by several corporations were based on a fictitious narrative, not facts. We echo the concerns outlined by our colleague Congressman Drew Ferguson (GA-03) in a recent letter to Delta Air Lines, and we agree that critics of the voting law are unable to credibly and accurately point to aspects of the bill that hinder Georgians’ voting rights.
“Like other states in our union, Georgia faced major voting challenges due to the pandemic and increased voter turnout during this last election cycle. The state has taken necessary actions to secure election integrity, a laudable and important mission. Companies can take political stances under social pressure, but we strongly encourage them to ensure their positions are truthful and thoughtful.
“We will continue to advocate for free speech, but we ask our nation’s largest corporations to act credibly and refrain from boycotting states in order to maintain a productive national discourse.”