Speed Reads

Voting Rights

Dozens of corporate executives hold call to discuss ways to fight controversial voting bills

Dozens of executives from leading U.S. manufacturers, retailers, and airlines participated in a Zoom call on Saturday to discuss ways they can show opposition to restrictive voting bills under consideration in some states, and already passed in Georgia.

Four people on the call — including organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a management professor at Yale — told The Washington Post on Sunday that the executives talked about possibly stopping donations to lawmakers who back these measures and postponing investments in the states. On the call were leaders from Starbucks, Target, Levi Strauss, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, LinkedIn, Boston Consulting Group, and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, the Post reports.

The participants did not come up with a concrete plan, the Post reports, but Sonnenfeld said the call shows politicians like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said companies need to "stay out of politics," that the executives "are not intimidated by the flak. They are not going to be cowed. They felt very strongly that these voting restrictions are based on a flawed premise and are dangerous."

Several companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta, and Citigroup, have come out against Georgia's controversial new voting law, which gives voters less time to request mail-in ballots, limits the number of ballot drop boxes for early voting in urban areas, and gives state lawmakers more power over county and local elections.