How the business community can help protect voting rights

How the business community can help protect voting rights

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 10:21 AM
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 10:21 AM

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that two restrictive provisions in an Arizona voting law could remain in place. It's a disheartening development in the ongoing voting rights battle waging across the country. Not only does the decision weaken the Voting Rights Act by making it harder to challenge racially discriminatory voting policies, but it also undermines the health of our democratic institutions at a time when voting rights reform is needed most.

This disappointing decision arrives as we're seeing a litany of partisan election law bills being proposed in states like Texas and Georgia that create barriers to absentee voting and restrict innovations like drive-thru voting. Now more than ever, the nation needs business leaders to remain steadfast in their commitments to protecting our democracy.

In the amicus brief we — and 200+ other business leaders as signatories — sent to the Supreme Court earlier this year, we wrote: "When every American has a voice in the political system, our government benefits from a diversity of opinion and thought and can deliver sound policy solutions. Full voter engagement translates to policies that are reflective of, and more responsive to, the needs of all citizens, leading to an expansion of economic opportunity for all." The Supreme Court's ruling represents a step away from this vision.

To preserve our democratic institutions, we encourage our fellow business leaders to join us in turning commitments to equity and democracy into action.

Here's how:

Stand up against restrictive state voting laws

Companies can support evidence-based, nonpartisan policies like automatic voter registration, early voting, absentee voting and weekend voting. And they can oppose state legislation that makes it harder for employees and customers to vote and easier for partisan actors to invalidate legitimate election results.

We were encouraged to see large companies like Microsoft take a clear stance against restrictive voting legislation earlier this year. Before Georgia's voting legislation passed, the tech giant voiced concern that the proposed bill would restrict fair and secure elections, and later came out with a statement against specific provisions of the new election law, stating that it unfairly restricts "the rights of people to vote legally, securely and safely."

The Milwaukee Bucks and Weyco Group took similar public action in Wisconsin, signing on to a letter to urge lawmakers to oppose bills moving through the legislature that would create barriers to voting. And HP, Unilever, Patagonia and Salesforce are among the corporations that called for expanded voting access in Texas in response to restrictive new voting laws proposed in the state.

Re-examine your corporate political giving

Halting political donations to lawmakers who support restrictive voting legislation and who voted against certifying the 2020 election is another powerful tool.

Business leaders can follow Microsoft's lead by giving to causes that preserve and promote democracy instead. Toyota recently followed dozens of other companies in the decision to stop funding members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election. New data analysis demonstrates how corporate candidate contributions are one of the most powerful levers when it comes to safeguarding our democracy.

Make public statements on national voting legislation

There is much at stake nationally, with bills that seek to create national standards for voting policies on the table, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would mitigate restrictive voting laws passed by state legislatures and secure the equal right to vote for every American citizen.

Business leaders can utilize their platforms to make public statements to support principled Congressional action that would help protect voting rights and ensure safe and secure elections for all eligible voters. Sen. Joe Manchin's compromise — which mandates at least 15 consecutive early voting days along with a voter ID requirement, among other proposals — presents a promising and pragmatic path forward to respond to the growing threats to our democracy.

Earlier this month, companies including Airbnb, PepsiCo, IKEA and more signed a letter expressing support for federal voting rights legislation that ensures voting is accessible for all.

Commit to diversity

Taking action and voicing concern about restrictive voting legislation is also deeply linked to companies' commitments to diversity and anti-racism. The right to vote was hard-won beginning in 1870 when the 15th Amendment was passed to allow Black men to vote, but voters of color continued to face significant obstacles to exercising their right to vote.

Disappointingly, many of those barriers remain, with more than 380 restrictive voting bills introduced in state legislatures across the country. Some state-level proposed restrictions would limit early voting and ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting. Many of these voting restrictions disproportionately impact voters of color. A business commitment to a thriving and diverse workforce is inextricably linked to ensuring those same employees can fully participate in democracy.

The success of American business depends in large part on an equitable, functioning democracy people can believe in. In the face of this latest decision from the Court and President Biden's resonant call to action, now is the time for the business community to ensure that our democracy remains robust and legitimate.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Indianapolis
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 66°
Sunny and dry, but cool and breezy!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1605320

Reported Deaths: 27132
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61354910964
DuPage1039171357
Will873121089
Lake771121060
Kane65888850
Winnebago39007544
Madison38143576
St. Clair35003569
McHenry33032316
Peoria25972362
Champaign25862182
Sangamon24588271
McLean21879207
Tazewell19736326
Rock Island17806344
Kankakee16784234
Kendall15459106
LaSalle14496275
Macon14478240
Vermilion13234189
Adams12695148
DeKalb11667128
Williamson11419157
Whiteside7897176
Jackson769188
Boone760082
Coles7341112
Ogle713486
Grundy701281
Franklin686899
Clinton681498
Knox6651164
Marion6547138
Macoupin646399
Henry620474
Jefferson6060132
Effingham604382
Livingston571295
Woodford554291
Stephenson546289
Randolph529297
Monroe508199
Christian491780
Fulton487970
Morgan487296
Logan477474
Montgomery467476
Lee458156
Bureau427188
Perry415171
Saline409263
Fayette398956
Iroquois394673
McDonough354956
Jersey322253
Shelby311843
Douglas306636
Crawford304130
Lawrence301131
Union296747
Wayne274057
White265930
Richland262054
Hancock256334
Pike255956
Cass250928
Clark250738
Bond244024
Clay240047
Ford235256
Edgar234744
Carroll225437
Warren224960
Johnson213524
Moultrie211831
Jo Daviess206126
Washington206127
Wabash200915
Greene200739
Mason199351
Massac198144
De Witt195530
Piatt190814
Mercer190634
Cumberland178325
Menard158612
Jasper152418
Marshall134721
Hamilton128821
Brown10178
Pulaski98311
Schuyler9688
Edwards96315
Stark76827
Gallatin7435
Scott6975
Alexander67611
Henderson65114
Calhoun6442
Hardin56013
Putnam5444
Pope4815
Unassigned1882432
Out of IL40

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479