The leaders of Coca Cola and Delta Air Lines, two of Georgia's largest corporations, are speaking out about the state's new voting law, along with the president of Microsoft, which has plans to create a hub in Atlanta. In a Wednesday memo to employees, Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote that the company had worked behind the scenes "to try and remove some of the most egregious measures" from the "unacceptable" law, which he says is "based on a lie" of widespread voter fraud, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bastian said the law would make it "harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters" to vote. Hours later, Coca Cola CEO James Quincey urged lawmakers to revisit the law, telling CNBC that the company had "always opposed" it. Microsoft President Brad Smith criticized the law in a company blog, noting "we voiced concern about this legislation even before it was passed."
More than 70 top Black executives urged corporate America to "publicly oppose ... all measures designed to limit Americans' ability to vote" in a full-page ad in the New York Times on Wednesday. There had also been calls for boycotts against Coke and other Georgia companies. Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, said Delta had at "no point" raised concerns with his office, per the Journal-Constitution and Politico. He also said that he would not "be bullied by these people" and that President Biden's suggestion that the MLB All-Star Game be moved out of Atlanta was "ridiculous." In a slight to Delta, the Georgia House voted to end a tax break on jet fuel Wednesday, the last day of the legislative session, though the measure didn't come to a vote in the Senate. (A similar thing happened after Delta ended a group discount for the NRA.)