This morning, hundreds of companies and business leaders signed onto a new statement opposing the spate of voter suppression bills in state legislatures around the country. Currently, over 360 restrictive bills have been introduced in 47 states. Five of these bills have already been signed into law – including Georgia’s S.B. 202 – and 29 have passed at least one chamber. A copy of the statement appears today as an advertisement in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.
In response, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:
“LDF applauds today’s strong statement by the hundreds of companies and business executives who have come together to call out the wave of suppressive voting legislation in nearly every state in the nation. Their efforts and willingness to use their voices in support of core democratic ideals is critically important – and consistent with how businesses have previously understood the importance of voting rights in our democracy. And we must not forget that it was the bold and uncompromising moral stance and leadership of Black business executives, who first responded to grassroots and national civil rights groups, and led the mainstream American business community to this broad, public declaration of democratic principle.
“This bold action also helps reaffirm the non-partisan nature of resisting voter suppression. Until recently, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 received bipartisan support and has been reauthorized by Republican presidents. But, as we have seen since the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder eliminated the Section 5 preclearance, states have been aggressively changing voting laws to suppress voters of color in numerous ways.
“It is imperative that federal legislation – including the For the People Act (S.1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) – are passed in quick order to restore preclearance protections and expand voting access for all Americans. LDF will continue its work to ensure that the right of Black voters and other voters of color are protected and that everyone can vote free from impediments to the ballot – and that those votes are counted.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.