Washington, D.C. — As Senate Republicans voted in lockstep against the merits of historic legislation to protect the freedom to vote across the country, government watchdog Accountable.US challenged corporations that claim to support voting rights to finally back their words with action: fully leverage their influence and resources to pressure Senate obstructionists to pass voting protections overwhelmingly supported by the public, including their customers and employees. All eyes are on companies that assure consumers they’re on the side of democracy but continue to cut checks to lawmakers working to undermine it.
Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report finding that corporations donated over $740,000 to the U.S. Senators from Texas, Florida, and Iowa — states that passed voter restrictions last year — who just today blocked federal voter protections that would help counter voter suppression efforts enacted in their states. The Freedom to Vote Act (FTVA) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (JLVRAA) are urgently needed to counter the growing number of state-level voter suppression schemes.
So many corporations claim to value voting rights yet continue to heap contributions onto Senate Republicans that vote to deny the freedom to vote for millions of Americans, especially voters of color and with disabilities. The wave of Jim-Crow style voter suppression efforts in the states should be the canary in the coal mine for corporations to do more than offer empty words of support for democracy. They can prove it by tapping their vast resources and influence to compel Senate obstructionists to pass voter protections overwhelmingly backed by the American people — including consumers who vote with their wallets. If companies get off the sidelines in this fight and make clear there is a price to be paid for inaction, they will find it is not only good for democracy but for business, too.
It’s time corporations act like the freedom to vote is on the line for millions, because it is.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
Accountable.US recently released a new report finding major corporations that claim to support voting rights awarded at least $644,500 to Senate Republicans who blocked two major federal voting rights bills in 2021, the FTVA and the JLVRAA.
The FTVA would restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals, ensure people with disabilities have equal access to absentee ballots, and prohibit long wait times to vote—which largely impacts Black and Latino voters. The JLVRAA would restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act and strengthen protections against discriminatory state laws.
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