But the statement was also notable for the names that were missing, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola — two companies that earlier this month were among the first to oppose new voting rules in their home state of Georgia.
The statement and its signatories were listed under the banner, “We Stand for Democracy.” It was published today as an ad in The Washington Post, the New York Times and other major newspapers.
The current crop of voting measures is fueled by lingering animosity over the last presidential election, when baseless accusations of voter fraud resulted in Republican officials pushing for restrictive new laws.
The statement was discussed by corporate leaders last weekend, when more than 100 executives from major retailers, airlines and manufacturers gathered via Zoom to discuss further actions they might take against restrictive state voting bills, including halting donations to politicians who support them or delaying investments in states that pass these measures.
On the Zoom call, Kenneth Chenault, the former chief executive of American Express, and Kenneth Frazier, the chief executive of Merck, told the executives that it was important to keep fighting what they viewed as discriminatory laws on voting.
Chenault and Frazier coordinated a letter signed last month by 72 Black business executives that made a similar point — a letter that first drew attention to the voting bills in executive suites across the country.
The two men also asked the corporate leaders to sign onto the new letter — which was published today.
“Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy,” the statement reads, “and we call upon all Americans to take a nonpartisan stand for this basic and most fundamental right of all Americans.”