Business leaders are speaking out against the recent changes to voter laws in Georgia that activists said would suppress voters, calling the new legislation “undemocratic” and “unacceptable.”
Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said that he and his company are opposed to the controversial legislation that was signed last week by Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward and it does not promote principles that we have stood for here in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” the businessman added.
Coca-Cola, which has its headquarters in Georgia, released a statement on Monday saying that it was “disappointed in the outcome” but it didn’t “see this as the final chapter” in Georgia regarding voter laws.
“The reality is many things are improved and done and achieved in private, without having to take a public stance, but in this case it does not work, clearly,” Mr Quincey said. “And so, we’re being more forceful in our public position even more than we were earlier this week, and we’ll continue to advocate for change in Georgia.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook also criticized Georgia’s new voting law in an interview with Axios published on Thursday, joining a growing number of CEOs who have condemned the new measure, which is seen as making it more difficult for Blacks and other minority groups to vote.
“The right to vote is fundamental in a democracy. 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,” Cook told Axios.
Leaders of Delta Air Lines, Citibank, Merck, and American Express have also spoken out about the law, with some encouraging more corporate leaders to condemn the move.