A group of more than 200 U.S. companies has banded together to speak out against voting laws that they say make it more difficult for eligible voters to cast their ballots.
Members of Civic Alliance, a self-proclaimed nonpartisan business coalition that seeks to build a future where everyone participates in shaping America, wrote a letter expressing their support to ensure that elections express the will of voters. The group also expressed its support for Black executives and leaders who have spoken out against the laws.
The statement was made on April 2, one week after Georgia passed election reform and as state legislatures in Texas and Arizona were debating their own changes.
“Our elections are not improved when lawmakers impose barriers that result in longer lines at the polls or that reduce access to secure ballot dropboxes,’ wrote members of Civic Alliance. “We call on elected leaders in every state capitol and in Congress to work across the aisle and ensure that every eligible American has the freedom to easily cast their ballot and participate fully in our democracy.”
"Voting laws vary dramatically from state to state," the Civic Alliance said in a statement to FOX Business, "We don't weigh in on specific details of legislation, but we are calling for elected leaders to arrive at common-sense solutions that prioritize the freedom to vote.
Voting reform passed last month in Georgia requires all people requesting or submitting an absentee ballot to provide a driver’s license or state-ID card number if they have one. Otherwise, they are allowed to confirm their identities through one of several other ways. This includes the last four digits of their Social Security number plus their birth date; a utility bill; a bank statement; a paycheck; a government check; or another similar government document that includes their name and address.
Other measures in the new law include expanding access to early voting and mandated, secure drop boxes, some of which have limits on when they can be accessed.
Election officials may provide self-serve water stations for voters waiting in line. Private individuals may campaign and provide food and water beyond 150 feet from polling locations.
The new laws drew the ire of Democrats, including President Biden, who called the new Georgia laws “Jim Crow on steroids” and backed Major League Baseball's decision to move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the state’s capital.
Potential changes in election laws are still being debated in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere. Many of those measures are designed to prevent voter fraud.
Proposals in Texas include banning drive-through voting and prohibiting election officials from sending out mail voting applications unless they were individually requested. In Arizona, several bills seek to limit mail voting, which makes it more difficult to verify who cast the ballot.
While the identification changes in Georgia have drawn criticism, U.S. labor law requires employers, including the members of the Civic Alliance that signed the letter, to ask prospective employees to present identification prior to employment. Many of those companies, including PayPal, require customers to provide a form of identification.
Cisco Systems Inc., HP Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Lyft Inc., Target Corp., United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. were among the other companies signing onto the statement.