Many of America’s biggest corporations say they value democracy. But how well does their rhetoric match their actions? Our investigative researchers at Accountable.US took a comprehensive look at America’s 100 largest companies by total annual revenue and graded them on their support for voting rights, our electoral process, and our democracy. The result of that research is the American Democracy Scorecard — a living, interactive resource.
The companies were scored on 14 key criteria, including statements supporting democracy and voting rights, affiliations with pro-democracy organizations, political contributions to state and federal lawmakers who have undermined democracy, transparency around those contributions, and other democracy-related actions. Here were some of our key takeaways:
- Most Fortune 100 companies have made public statements celebrating democracy and supporting voting rights. At the same time, they have collectively contributed at least $20.2 million to federal lawmakers who opposed voting rights legislation during the 2022 election cycle.
- Seventy-two of the top 100 companies made statements condemning the events of January 6. Fifty of those companies pledged to pause or suspend political contributions as a result, either to all lawmakers or specifically to those who voted against certifying the 2020 election. Thirty-three of those 50 have since donated a collective total of more than $3.3 million to lawmakers who voted against certifying the election.
- At the state level, Fortune 100 companies donated more than $6.2 million to officials who voted for legislation that would make it more difficult for people – especially voters of color – to exercise their right to vote. They also contributed nearly $1 million to officials who perpetuated the Big Lie by supporting partisan audits based on unfounded allegations of voter fraud and election conspiracy theories.
So How Did America’s Biggest Companies Score on Democracy?
In short, not great. There were no A’s, 13 B’s, 5 C’s, 16 D’s, and 66 F’s. Some of the companies that scored relatively well included Albertsons, AIG, Costco, and Apple. The companies that made the largest contributions to anti-democracy legislators – and ended up with some of the worst scores – included AT&T, Charter Communications, Goldman Sachs Group, Comcast, and Home Depot.
Many major corporations say they care about democracy while undermining it. We hope that the Scorecard can help consumers and employees make more informed decisions about where to spend their time, talent, and hard-earned dollars — and ultimately pressure these companies and their leadership to follow their values and stand up for our democracy. They know a healthy democracy is good for the economy and their bottom lines.”