A new electoral law passed in the state of Georgia, in the USA, with support from Governor Brian Kemp, Republican Party, is causing protests and reactions from the business world and from defenders of democracy and human rights.
They point out that the law, which tightens document requirements for voting in state elections, is discriminatory and undermines minority rights.
The bill was approved by the state legislature and sanctioned by the governor last Wednesday, March 31.
Dozens of large American companies, some based in Georgia, such as Coca Cola, Delta Airlines e UPS, went public with condemning the new law, which, according to experts, may trigger a wave of investment review in the state.
Microsoft, Facebook, Porsche, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Merck, Cisco and many other companies have condemned the new law in the state.
“The equal right to vote is one of the foundations of American democracy. Voting must be easy and accessible for ALL eligible voters,” he said in a statement. Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest manager, BlackRock.
Alfredo Rivera, Coca-Cola CEO for North America, said: “We are opposed to measures that may seek to decrease or restrict access to voting. We defend wide access, voter convenience, the integrity of the election and political neutrality. Anything that might inhibit these principles can lead to suppression of the vote. “
A Major League Baseball (MLB), the American baseball league, announced on Friday that it will no longer hold the All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia’s capital, in protest against the new laws. The festive event that brings together the best and most popular athletes in the league, was scheduled for June.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the right to vote for all Americans and is opposed to restrictions on the voting booth,” said Robert Manfred, the MLB commissioner, a position equivalent to that of president of the league.
Under the new law, voters will have to prove identification in some way with water or electricity or bank accounts, in a state where an estimated 200,000 voters do not have a driver’s license or state identity.
The measure is considered discriminatory by human rights and political experts, as about 25% of blacks in the United States do not have a photo ID, well above the 8% rate for whites.
Another point criticized is the ban on the distribution of food and water in the voting lines, which tends to discourage the presence of minorities in elections in poorer places, where long lines are more frequent.
The Republicans’ move was taken just after the state was relevant to the victory of Joe Biden, do Democratic Party, in the presidential elections last November. It was the first victory for a Democrat in the state since 1992, with Bill Clinton.
The population of the state also elected for the first time a black senator (Raphael Warnock) and a Jewish senator (Jon Ossoff).