Several businesses allegedly tried to work with Republican lawmakers in Georgia on the controversial voting law in a failed attempt to appease voters on both sides of the aisle. According to The Washington Post, sources familiar with the matter say closed-door conversations were held between representatives of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, several Georgia-headquartered businesses, and GOP state lawmakers. The reason: to find middle ground between Republican voters who believe in election fraud conspiracies while addressing backlash that the state would impose voting restrictions.
The sources said that reps from several corporations got the Republican lawmakers to take out language that would completely bar most Georgia voters from casting their ballots by mail and limit weekend voting. The final version of the law that was passed in late March by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, however, still imposes voter ID requirements, and limits on absentee voting that disproportionately impact Black, Latino, and low income voters.
Now, some of the same corporations that were allegedly in the room, and others are coming against the legislation, and others like it across the nation, which is also helping to shape protests of nationwide voter suppression.
In response to the controversial law, Major League Baseball pulled its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, and community advocates pushed for boycotts of the Georgia-based businesses that didn’t offer public opposition to the legislation.
Businesses in Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Arizona are also reportedly taking a page out of corporations in the Peach state’s book by examining how to get involved with the fight for voter rights.
Over 100 corporate execs met on Saturday (April 10) to strategize ways to get involved with the fight, some weighing options of pulling out investments in certain states where similar legislation is being moved through legislative bodies.
As the 2022 midterm elections rev up, advocates say the corporate push is notable while Republicans blame former President Donald Trump for the predicament the Party is in.
“This is really a watershed moment,” Joanna Lydgate, leader of the Voter Protection Program, told The Post. “We’ve all come to understand the consequences of lies and disinformation and conspiracy about voting.”
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told the outlet the Republican Party has to deal with the fallout of Trump’s baseless election fraud claims. Duncan said Trump’s “10 weeks of chaos have made Republicans vulnerable in every corner of this country. The conversations around election reform were rooted in the misinformation that the former president and those around him spread, leaving a crater inside the Republican Party.”
Two Republican candidates loss senate runoff elections in the midst of Trump's claims of voter fraud, effectively giving control of the US Senate to Democrats. Trump's claims of election fraud were also the source of his second impeachment trial.
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