Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend
Major American corporations are raising their voices on the red-hot issue of voting rights.
Galvanized by a proliferation of restrictive state voting proposals, more than 100 business leaders met recently in an unusual online gathering. They discussed possible action against laws under consideration in several states and enacted in Georgia. Their potential steps include halting donations to politicians who support such legislation or suspending investments in those states.
Several corporations already had suspended political donations after the deadly January siege on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump and after the refusal of some Republican lawmakers to certify President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Political spending has shot to attention at the annual corporate meetings season now underway, alongside racial equity, climate change and executive compensation. Support for shareholder proposals on political donations and lobbying has grown, a report by the Conference Board, a business research group, has found.
Companies have increased their disclosure of political giving. Political activity can pose risks for companies, including the perception that such contributions conflict with company values.