Results of the 2020 Presidential election continue to invoke Republican-enacted voter restrictive legislation and a suspension of corporate funding, leading to over 150 companies publicly opposing these laws and encouraging lawmakers to enhance current voter legislation. Companies like Target, Coca-Cola and Best Buy have taken measures in congressional fund cuts and policy enforcement to improve democracy and fight future suppressive laws.
“We believe elections should be conducted in a transparent, fair and secure manner and oppose any actions that create barriers to voting or result in unequal access to the ballot box,” a Target spokesperson told The Plug.
Target is supporting the passing of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill aiming to reestablish protections to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. TargetCitizens PAC sponsored $638,500 collectively in 2020 election contributions. In addition, Target cuts $42,000 from all federal candidates amid the 2020 Electoral College results on January 6. The cut was in response to several members of Congress opposing the results and incited insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Coca-Cola has also supported recent advances in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the 2020 election cycle, $35,000 was given to The Congressional Black Caucus Institute in public policy efforts. $36,000 of Coca-Cola’s political contributions to Republicans were suspended in perpetuity due to the January 6 insurrection. Coca-Cola Communications Director, Ann Morre, told The Plug that there are no updates on the company’s political engagements at this time.
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines, said in a statement. The law allows state-level officials the control to usurp the powers of county election boards. However, Delta Air Lines sponsors $236,000 of political contributions to political parties despite insurrection at the U.S Capitol.
“Our PAC has robust processes for reviewing candidates before every contribution to ensure they align with both Delta’s position on priority aviation and business issues and importantly, our values,” Lisa Hanna, General Manager, Corporate Communications, said during an interview with CNN.
Best Buy and Amazon also joined the Business of Rights Coalitions to urge Congress to enhance VRA. Best Buy opposed voter restriction earlier this year; however, there are no current statements on their voting stance. Best Buy has currently given $14,000 to the Republican political fund.
Amazon cut $220,000 in political giving to politicians who objected to the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. In June, Amazon Studios released a new inclusion policy and playbook of building continual commitment to diversity and inclusion in the creative community. One of the goals is to have 30 percent women and 30 percent members from underrepresented groups by 2024. Amazon Studios created the initiative #Allinforvoting during the last presidential election for artists around the country to utilize their talents to promote voting.
But some of these companies already have funds set for the upcoming 2022 election. Delta Air Lines will donate $84,000 to the Republican party and $63,500 to the Democratic party, while Coca-Cola is not donating money to either political party. There are no updates of 2022 political contributions for Best Buy, Target and Amazon.
It’s been recommended that companies facilitate regular conversations with community leaders to learn barriers to voting. There is also an ongoing effort to display voting issues that can steer change in Washington and the state legislature. Depending on the company goals and diverse inclusion, it’s up to the people to band together in voter rights.