As Republican-run state legislatures continue their all-out assault on voting rights, activists in Georgia have found one possible avenue to fight the effort to restrict voting: Follow the money.
Civil liberties groups are putting pressure on some of the biggest corporate names in Georgia — heavy hitters such as Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Delta Airlines, UPS and Aflac — to help block two bills, HB 531 and SB 241, that the GOP-led legislature wants to pass. These bills are blatant attempts to make it harder for residents, particularly those in the black community, to vote.
The bills would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, limit early voting hours, restrict drop boxes for mail ballots, and even limit voting on Sundays.
The voting rights groups are making it clear to Georgia’s biggest companies that black voters, who make up a third of the voting electorate in the state, will remember which companies stand up for their right to vote, and which ones do not. And that could ultimately impact the bottom line of those businesses.
Stacey Abrams, who helped Democrats win the two Georgia Senate runoff elections in January that gave the party a slim majority in the Senate, has called the efforts to restrict voting in Georgia “racist.”
She also supports suspending the filibuster to help pass the “For The People” voting rights act.
Advocates already scored one important win by getting the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to come out publicly against the state voter-suppression bills.
According to The Washington Post, Coca-Cola and The Home Depot are “aligned” with the Chamber’s comments. That’s not enough for the advocacy groups. They want these companies to do more.
And they’re going to be watching to see who does.