Corporate Leaders Discuss How to Address Georgia's Voting Laws

But beyond making statements, business leaders are at a loss over what they can do to influence the policy decisions made by Republican lawmakers who have embraced overhauling voting rights as a priority. Companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola lobbied behind the scenes before the Georgia law was passed last month, and the companies say their efforts had a hand in removing some of the most restrictive provisions, such as eliminating Sunday voting. But after Delta and Coca-Cola came out in opposition to the final law, and other corporations began sounding the alarm about the voting legislation being advanced in nearly every state, Republican leaders lashed out. “My warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said last week. “It’s not what you’re designed for. And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of America’s greatest political debates.” Yet the business community appears to be emboldened, with more companies and business groups preparing to get involved. “All these C.E.O.s came together days after McConnell admonished corporations to stay out of politics,” said Tom Rogers, founder of CNBC, who attended the meeting. “In convening, they were saying as a group that they were not going to be intimidated into not voicing their views on their issues.” So far, however, there is little indication that the growing outcry from big business is changing Republicans’ priorities, with legislation in Texas and other states still moving ahead. “Texas is the next one up,” said one chief executive who attended the meeting but asked to remain anonymous. “Whether the business commitments will have a meaningful impact there, we’ll see.”

Corporate Leaders Discuss How to Address Georgia's Voting Laws
But beyond making statements, business leaders are at a loss over what they can do to influence the policy decisions made by Republican lawmakers who have embraced overhauling voting rights as a priority. Companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola lobbied behind the scenes before the Georgia law was passed last month, and the companies say their efforts had a hand in removing some of the most restrictive provisions, such as eliminating Sunday voting. But after Delta and Coca-Cola came out in opposition to the final law, and other corporations began sounding the alarm about the voting legislation being advanced in nearly every state, Republican leaders lashed out. “My warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said last week. “It’s not what you’re designed for. And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of America’s greatest political debates.” Yet the business community appears to be emboldened, with more companies and business groups preparing to get involved. “All these C.E.O.s came together days after McConnell admonished corporations to stay out of politics,” said Tom Rogers, founder of CNBC, who attended the meeting. “In convening, they were saying as a group that they were not going to be intimidated into not voicing their views on their issues.” So far, however, there is little indication that the growing outcry from big business is changing Republicans’ priorities, with legislation in Texas and other states still moving ahead. “Texas is the next one up,” said one chief executive who attended the meeting but asked to remain anonymous. “Whether the business commitments will have a meaningful impact there, we’ll see.”