Over 100 business leaders have banded together for a new joint statement in opposition to suppressive election restrictions that have been proposed and, in select cases, passed by Republican state legislators across the country. During the 2020 election cycle, there was no systematic fraud — but Democrats did score significant victories, and now Republicans have come up with these punitive restrictions. In Georgia, for instance, Governor Brian Kemp recently signed legislation that overhauls the state’s verification system for mail-in ballots, although — contrary to ex-President Donald Trump’s claims — no systematic problems were recorded in Georgia’s previous signature verification system.
Now, Georgia absentee voters have new voter ID requirements, which — as elsewhere — could disadvantage marginalized communities. The new statement against these restrictions and other similar moves came through the Civic Alliance, which describes itself on its website as “a nonpartisan group of businesses working together to build a future where everyone participates in shaping our country.” The group has previously, among other steps, released a statement calling for a “peaceful transfer of power” in the wake of the January Capitol rioting.
The signatories of the new Civic Alliance statement — including executives at Target, Snapchat, Uber, PayPal, and Reddit among a slew of other companies — said as follows:
‘We believe every American should have a voice in our democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters. We stand in solidarity with voters 一 and with the Black executives and leaders at the helm of this movement 一 in our nonpartisan commitment to equality and democracy. If our government is going to work for all of us, each of us must have equal freedom to vote and elections must reflect the will of voters.’
They added the following:
‘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. There are hundreds of bills threatening to make voting more difficult in dozens of states nationwide. 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.’
Besides the Georgia legislation, other fresh voter suppression initiatives include legislation under consideration by Texas state legislators that would, among other changes, ban drive-thru polling places, which are pretty much exactly what they sound like and were used in Harris County (which includes Houston) during the 2020 election cycle amidst concerns about the spread of COVID-19 at in-person polling places. Harris County leans Democratic, and Biden won it by a considerable margin in 2020, meaning that — yet again — supposed election integrity measures from Republicans could disproportionately disadvantage Democratic voters.