Amazon, Apple, Google parent company Alphabet and Facebook have joined hundreds of companies, executives and celebrities by signing a public letter today supporting the right to vote and condemning legislation that would “ restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair have a chance to cast a vote, ” The New York Times reports
The public letter appeared as a full-page advertisement The New York Times and The Washington Post on Wednesday and was hosted by former American Express credit card company executive Kenneth Chenault, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, and the Black Economic Alliance. You can see an image of the ad, divided by NOW reporter David Gelles, Below:
The text reads:
WE STAND FOR DEMOCRACY
A government of the people, by the people. A beautiful American ideal, but a reality that has been denied to many for much of the history of this country. As Americans, we know that in our democracy we cannot expect to agree on everything. Regardless of our political affiliation, however, we believe that the foundation of our election process rests on the ability of each of us to vote for the candidate of our choice. For American democracy to work for each of us, we must make sure that we can all vote for us. We should feel our responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent an eligible voter from having an equal and fair chance to vote. Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy, and we call on all Americans to join us in taking an impartial stand for this most fundamental and fundamental right of all Americans.
Supporting voting rights is, unfortunately, always a green issue in the US, but this letter is particularly timely from Georgia recently passed SB 202Georgia’s new bill puts more power over electoral eligibility in the hands of Republican government officials and, among other things, requires voters to provide personal ID when using ballots in absentia. The bill has been heavily criticized by activists, law experts and other companies such as Microsoft, who signed today’s letter.
Other companies, such as Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, Walmart, and JP Morgan Chase declined to sign the letter, NOW writes. Both Coca-Cola and Delta spoke out against Georgian law after being threatened with boycotts online.
Statements like these are all fine and good, but when it comes down to it, saying you support the right to vote with a national ad is the mega-corporation equivalent of reposting a social justice slideshow on your Instagram story. It can increase awareness and give people a sense of where a person or company stands, but it is only committed to words and beliefs rather than actions. Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Facebook and all other companies that sign this letter with their money. And history has shown that they are either unwilling to spend much – in the case of supporting racial justice – or have reportedly opposed stronger bills for voter protection at the federal level.
Several of the companies that signed today’s letter (including Microsoft) are also members of the US Chamber of Congress, the industry association that urged senators recently to vote down a federal bill on voting rights passed in the House of Representatives, writes Sludge (portion of the Brick house journalism cooperativeCalled the For The People Act of S.1 / HR 1, the bill aims to ensure voter protections such as automatic voter registration and postal ballots, even in states like Georgia with their own restrictive voting restrictions.
Where are these companies actually located?