Microsoft says controversial Georgian law will ‘unfairly restrict people’s right to vote’


Microsoft is rarely shy about wading into the political conversation these days, and the last message from President Brad Smith is no exception: In a blog post titled “ Why We’re Worried About Georgia’s New Electoral Law, ” he denounces the state’s new Election Integrity Act for making it more difficult for its employees (and others) to vote – making Microsoft the first major technology company to speak out against the law.

If it’s not clear why Microsoft would do anything to challenge the state about this particular issue, there are a few things you should probably know:

  1. As Smith notes, Microsoft is becoming a major employer in the state – he says Atlanta is “on track to become one of Microsoft’s largest hubs in the United States in the next decade, after Puget Sound and Silicon Valley.” He writes that Microsoft employees alone are likely to have 80 percent fewer dropboxes for their ballots as a direct result of the law, among other restrictions.
  2. Major employers in Georgia are currently under investigation by activists, including some threatening to boycott both Delta Air Lines and Coke for failing to condemn the law. #BoycottDelta and #BoycottCocaCola were trending topics, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday. Although Delta and Coca-Cola now each call the bill “ unacceptable. ” in a new memo and a new interview respectively it can be one A bit lateMicrosoft is now positioning itself favorably against these other big companies, largely by being a newcomer that has already been released a tweet
  3. Smith, the company’s former Chief Legal Officer, still follows the line here. While many critics of Georgian law like to call it a form of voter suppression, Microsoft simply explains how this can be “ challenging ” for voters rather than pulling their hearts out. Smith doesn’t get spicier than “From our perspective there is no rational basis for the Georgian legislature to allow secure mailboxes but restrict their use so severely” or “Can anyone imagine telling taxpayers to stop? how to use a mailbox to file their tax returns four days before taxes are due? “
  4. There is no promise of any action from Microsoft, just the hope that “companies will come together and make it clear that a healthy business requires a healthy community,” and that “we must work together to put pressure on the Georgian legislature to make it clear. change.”

It’s good to see Microsoft – or another company – expressing a desire to maintain or improve voting rights and explain why.