166 large corporation including Apple, Amazon, Google, Starbucks and Pepsi are pressuring Congress to pass partisan federal election bills that will benefit Democrats in future elections. The companies are pressing for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act which would create sweeping reforms and render an important 2013 Supreme Court case irrelevant.
"Despite decades of progress, impediments to exercising the right to vote persist in many states, especially for communities of colour. We need federal protections to safeguard this fundamental right for all Americans," the companies wrote in the letter obtained by NBC News.
In 2013 Shelby County, Alabama sued the Attorney General over a section of the Voting Rights Act which it argued it was unconstitutional. The section required some local governments to receive pre-clearance from the Attorney General before changing voting laws. The Supreme Court ruled that the section was unconstitutional and since then activists say those same counties and states which used to require pre-clearance have made it harder to vote for some communities.
"Legislation amending the Voting Rights Act must help ensure that voters of colour who remain the targets of voter suppression have equal and unfettered access to the democratic process," reads the letter.
The companies claim that the 2020 election "highlighted deep inequities in how our elections are run." The letter continued, "While each of our companies is unique, we are united in the belief that every American deserves a voice in our democracy. It is our government’s role to ensure voting is accessible to all. We urge Congress to add to the legacy of Representative Lewis by passing Voting Rights Act legislation that assures that every voice is heard." The letter comes just before the anniversary of John Lewis' death on Saturday.
This is also occurring while Texas Democrats have fled their state in order to stop the democratic process and stop a GOP election integrity in its tracks. The Democrats fled to Washington, DC, rather than sit in a special legislative session to vote on voter integrity laws that are supported by the Republicans in the state legislature as well as Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Governor Abbott has said that the Democrats would be arrested when they return to the state. "As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done. Everybody who has a job must show up to do that job, just like your viewers watching right now. State representatives have that same responsibility."