Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US finds that as voting restrictions have swept across America – with 14 states enacting new legislation since the 2020 election — numerous local chambers of commerce that are members of or affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have publicly opposed voter restrictions in their states.
Their public opposition comes in stark contrast with the national U.S. Chamber which has waged a “fierce” lobbying campaign against urgently-needed voting rights reforms in HR.1, the For the People Act, and essentially staying silent against these restrictive state measures.
“The U.S Chamber should follow the lead of its local allies that are taking a stand against racially-motivated voter suppression schemes underway in states across the country,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The U.S. Chamber has shown their attacks on federal voting rights protections on the basis of ‘partisanship’ ring hollow as they remain silent on a wave of nakedly partisan state-level attacks on the right to vote. It’s yet another reason corporations claiming to support voting rights should reassess their affiliation with the U.S. Chamber, which has been funding voter suppression efforts behind the scenes for more than a decade. If corporations are serious about staying true to their own public commitments to protecting our democracy, now is their chance to prove it by dropping the U.S. Chamber once and for all.”
An Accountable.US review has found that six local U.S. Chamber allies across Texas, Georgia, and Michigan have stood up and pushed back against voting restrictions sponsored by their state governments, following a trend of the business community writ large, including:
- Texas: The North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a Member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which is corporate partners with major companies like American Airlines and Toyota, came out against the Texas voter suppression bill. Also in Texas, three other local Black Chambers of Commerce listed in the U.S. Chamber’s directory have all opposed the state’s voter restriction laws.
- Georgia: The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, a U.S. Chamber Member that boasts a membership including major companies like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola, came out against voter suppression bills in Georgia.
- Michigan: The Detroit Regional Chamber, a U.S. Chamber Member whose own membership includes major companies like General Motors and Dow Chemical, said it would oppose legislation that “Unduly Burdens Michiganders’ Ability to participate in elections” following 39 election restrictions under consideration in the state at the time.
Last month, Accountable.US launched its “Drop The Chamber” campaign to pressure major corporations including Microsoft, Target, and Salesforce to back up their public statements supporting voting rights with action: severing their relationships with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its well-documented history of funding voter suppression efforts, including its ongoing lobbying assault against H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
Read more about the U.S. Chamber’s history of funding voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts HERE.
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