ATLANTA (AP) — Liberal activists are ratcheting up their calls on corporate America to denounce the GOP campaign to tighten state voting laws, putting businesses accustomed to cozy political relationships in middle of a growing partisan fight over voting rights and election laws.
Pressure is mounting on leading companies in Texas, Arizona and other states, particularly after Major League Baseball’s decision Friday to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. The move came a week after Georgia Republicans enacted an overhaul of the state's election law that critics argue is an attempt to suppress Democratic votes.
Other companies have, somewhat belatedly, joined the chorus of critics. Delta Air Lines and The Coca-Cola Co., two of Georgia’s best-known brands, this week called the new law “unacceptable," although they had a hand in writing it. That only angered Republicans, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and several U.S. senators, who accused the companies of cowering from unwarranted attacks from the left.
The fight has thrust corporate America into a place it often tries to avoid — the center of a partisan political fight. But under threat of boycott and bad publicity, business leaders this week showed a fresh willingness to enter the fray on an issue not directly related to their bottom line, even when it meant alienating Republican allies.
“We want to hold corporations accountable for how they show up when voting rights are under attack,” said Marc Banks, an NAACP spokesman. “Corporations have a part to play, because when they do show up and speak, people listen.”
Civil rights groups have filed federal lawsuits to block the new Georgia law, which was passed after Democrats flipped the once-reliably Republican state in an election former President Donald Trump falsely claimed was rife with...