Oil and Gas

FACTBOX-What companies have said on voting restrictions in Georgia, other U.S. states

 (Adds Exxon CEO's comment)
    April 7 (Reuters) - A slew of major U.S. companies have come out with strong statements
against a controversial voting law in Georgia and similar bills in other U.S. states, which
activist groups say unfairly target Black and other racial minority voters, after facing intense
criticism for their muted response. 
    Below are the statements from various companies and their executives on the Georgia voting
law and similar bills being considered in other states. The statements from the companies have
been rebuked by some, mainly Republican, lawmakers: 
 Company                         Statement
 Coca-Cola Co       :            CEO James Quincey called the law "unacceptable" and
                                 "a step backwards." He told CNBC the law is "wrong
                                 and it needs to be remedied." (
 Delta Air Lines Inc        :    CEO Ed Bastian blasted the law: "The entire rationale
                                 for this bill was based on a lie: that there was
                                 widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020
                                 elections."  He said the law was "unacceptable", and
                                 did not match Delta's values. (
                                 It was a course reversal for Delta, which had earlier
                                 praised the law even as it acknowledged having
                                 concerns. (
 Citigroup Inc                   "As an American, I am appalled by the recent voter
                                 suppression laws passed in the state of Georgia,"
                                 Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason said. "I see it as
                                 a disgrace that our country's efforts to keep Black
                                 Americans from engaging fully in our Constitutional
                                 right to vote continue to this day." (
 American Airlines Group Inc     The airline said it was "strongly opposed" to a
                                 voting restrictions bill that was passed by the Texas
                                 state Senate and similar ones in other U.S. states.
 Dell Technologies               CEO Michael Dell said on Twitter he opposed the Texas
                                 bill and that "governments should ensure citizens
                                 have their voices heard". (
 Patagonia Works                 CEO Ryan Gellert said, "Our democracy is under attack
                                 by a new wave of Jim Crow bills that seek to restrict
                                 the right to vote. It is urgent that businesses
                                 across the country take a stand — and use their
                                 brands as a force for good in support of our
                                 democracy." (
 Apple Inc                       "Apple believes that, thanks in part to the power of
                                 technology, it ought to be easier than ever for every
                                 eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote. We
                                 support efforts to ensure that our democracy’s future
                                 is more hopeful and inclusive than its past," CEO Tim
                                 Cook said in a statement.
 Facebook Inc                    "We support making voting as accessible and
                                 broad-based as possible and oppose efforts to make it
                                 harder for people to vote," Roy Austin, Facebook's
                                 deputy general counsel for civil rights said.
 Microsoft Corp                  Company President Brad Smith said provisions of the
                                 law signed last week "unfairly restrict the rights of
                                 people to vote legally, securely, and safely." (
 Alphabet Inc                    "We're concerned about efforts to restrict voting at
                                 a local level and we strongly support the John Lewis
                                 Voting Rights Advancement Act," Google's senior
                                 vice-president of global affairs Kent Walker said. (
 ViacomCBS Inc                   "We unequivocally in the importance of all Americans
                                 having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent
                                 Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes
                                 the ability to exercise this vital constitutional
                                 right," the company said. (
 Merck & Co Inc                  The drugmaker tweeted a statement from CEO Kenneth
                                 Frazier taking a stand on the Georgia law, saying
                                 "Democracy rests on ensuring that every eligible
                                 voter has an equal and fair opportunity to cast a
                                 ballot, free from restrictions that have a
                                 discriminatory impact." (
 American Express Co             CEO Steve Squeri said the company stands "against any
                                 efforts to suppress voting which is a fundamental
                                 right that belongs to all Americans," and was in
                                 support of former CEO's Kenneth Chenault's call for
                                 corporations to take a harder stance against voting
                                 restrictions. (
 Bank of America Corp            "Our company's recent, increased commitment to
                                 advance racial equality and economic opportunity is
                                 informed by our belief that we must seek every avenue
                                 to overcome the systemic obstacles to our democratic
                                 principles that have developed over many years. This
                                 includes obstacles to the right to vote," CEO Brian
                                 Moynihan said. (
 Wells Fargo & Co                "Wells Fargo supports the right of every American to
                                 exercise their voice by voting... we oppose
                                 legislation that attempts to limit this right or is
                                 discriminatory in nature," the bank said, adding that
                                 it supports making Federal Election Day a national
                                 holiday. (
 Cisco Systems Inc               CEO Chuck Robbins tweeted "Governments should be
                                 working to make it easier to vote, not harder.
                                 Ensuring equal #VotingRights isn't a political issue,
                                 it's an issue of right and wrong." (
 Best Buy Co Inc                 "To the extent that proposed pieces of legislation
                                 are designed to make it more difficult for eligible
                                 Americans to cast a ballot, we offer our strong
                                 opposition and urge legislators to vote no," the
                                 company said. (
 Shake Shack Inc                 "We stand against any legislation that may impede the
                                 opportunity to vote," the company said. (
 BlackRock Inc                   CEO Larry Fink said "BlackRock is concerned about
                                 efforts that could limit access to the ballot for
                                 anyone. Voting should be easy and accessible for ALL
                                 eligible voters. (
 Hubspot Inc                     "The Georgia legislation undermining voters' rights
                                 is in stark contrast to the democracy our country is
                                 built on. And it’s unacceptable," said Dharmesh Shah,
                                 Hubspot co-founder and chief technology officer. (
 PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S.     "We oppose any changes in election laws that result
 arm                             in suppressing lawful votes, especially given their
                                 historical use to suppress votes of people of color,"
                                 PwC US Senior Partner Tim Ryan said. (
 Accenture                       Accenture is backing the 72 Black executives who have
                                 called for companies to take a stronger stance, CEO
                                 Julie Sweet said. "The Fierce Urgency Is Now in
                                 taking a nonpartisan stand for equality and
                                 democracy." (
 Home Depot Inc                  "We believe that all elections should be accessible,
                                 fair and secure and support broad voter
                                 participation. We'll continue to work to ensure our
                                 associates, both in Georgia and across the country,
                                 have the information and resources to vote," the
                                 company said in a statement.
 JPMorgan Chase & Co             "We regularly encourage our employees to exercise
                                 their fundamental right to vote, and we stand against
                                 efforts that may prevent them from being able to do
                                 so," CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.
 United Parcel Service           "UPS believes that voting laws and legislation should
                                 make it easier, not harder, for Americans to exercise
                                 their right to vote," the company said. (
 United Airlines Holdings Inc    "Legislation that infringes on the right to vote of
                                 fellow Americans is wrong. We believe that leaders in
                                 both parties should work to protect the rights of
                                 eligible voters by making it easier and more
                                 convenient for them to cast a ballot and have it
                                 counted," the company said. (
 Porsche Cars North America      "Equal access to the polls for every voter is core to
                                 a democracy. (We) hope a resolution can be found
                                 between all sides that encourages and enables every
                                 eligible vote," the Georgia-based business said.
 Exxon Mobil                     "Secure elections and broad access to voting are not
                                 mutually exclusive. We're encouraging our elected
                                 officials to work together to find solutions that
                                 addresses both of those," CEO Darren Woods said in a
                                 CNBC interview.

 (Reporting by Uday Sampath and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and
Arun Koyyur)