Amazon has joined the chorus of corporations condemning Republican efforts to tighten election laws in Texas and Georgia.
The e-commerce colossus said it opposes measures “aimed at restricting the ability of Americans to vote” as the Lone Star State’s Senate passed a bill that would limit access to mail-in ballots and ban drive-thru voting.
“It has been fifty-six years since the Voting Rights Act became law, yet efforts to disenfranchise Black people and other minorities continue to this day,” Amazon exec Jay Carney, who served as ex-President Barack Obama’s press secretary, said in a statement Thursday.
“The ability to vote is one of the most prized fundamental rights in our American democracy, and Amazon supports policies that protect and expand those rights.”
Carney urged other states to follow in the footsteps of Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam signed a major voting-rights law this week. Amazon has 27,000 employees in Virginia and is building a second headquarters there, according to Carney.
Amazon spoke out as activists and black business executives pressed big companies to take a stand against a similar law in Georgia that Gov. Brian Kemp signed last week. It requires a photo ID for voting by mail and bans people from giving food or water to people waiting in line at the polls, among other provisions.
After taking heat for their initial lukewarm statements, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and Coca-Cola chief James Quincey — whose firms are headquartered in Atlanta — called the law “unacceptable” and “a step backward,” respectively.
Now corporations are lining up against the Texas bill before it reaches Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. Among the Texas-based firms to object are Dell and American Airlines, which said it’s “strongly opposed” to the measure and others like it.
“Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder,” American said in a statement Thursday.
Republicans have defended the laws and accused the big corporations of meddling in legislative affairs.
“Texans are fed up with corporations that don’t share our values trying to dictate public policy,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Thursday.
With Post wires