Leaders of some of the biggest corporations in America are getting both praise and blowback today after signing on to a statement that says, “It should be clear that there is overwhelming support in corporate America for the principle of voting rights.”
Hundreds of CEOs and more than 110 corporations sign onto effort opposing voting restrictions. Ad taking up 2 full pages in today’s New York Times and Washington Post says: “For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us.” pic.twitter.com/fswgnithRm— Kevin Bohn (@KevinBohn) April 14, 2021
Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing “any discriminatory legislation” that would make it harder for people to vote.
It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state.
A major show of support as hundreds of companies and CEOs unite to oppose voting limits. pic.twitter.com/oUgszWjQpa— CNN Early Start (@EarlyStart) April 14, 2021
The statement doesn’t directly address specific voting legislation, nor does it call on companies to take business action or halt political donations to lawmakers supporting such bills. “Clearly, we’re not being prescriptive about how people manifest their opposition,” Mr. Chenault said. “Who in their right mind would say that they want legislation that will limit people’s ability to vote?”
Judd Legum, writer of the newsletter Popular Information, says this doesn’t go far enough:
1. Hundreds of corporations have signed onto a new letter supporting "the right to vote" and opposing "discriminatory legislation" and I'm not impressed.— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 14, 2021
Here's why. pic.twitter.com/ImU9JpvsEs
Legum writes, “Actions are more powerful than words. And these companies aren’t taking any action whatsoever.”
4. Corporations know how to support or oppose legislation effectively. They engage their lobbyists, marshal their financial resources and speak out about specific bills.— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 14, 2021
This does none of that. It appears more to be a shield against criticism than an effort to impact the debate
Empty talk. Where is the commitment to DO something? https://t.co/NDETFqYL45— Jennifer 'pro-voting' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) April 14, 2021
The statement was also notable for the names that were missing, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola — two companies that earlier this month were among the first to oppose new voting rules in their home state of Georgia.
Both companies had come out after the Georgia bill was signed to say they opposed it. CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin says that JP Morgan and Nike also didn’t take part. He breaks down why some may not have signed on above.