The floodgates have opened.
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy on Wednesday added the company to a growing list of corporations with Georgia ties coming out against the state’s new restrictive voting overhaul law.
Asked about his response to more than 70 Black corporate executives who have taken a firm stance against the new Georgia voting law, Quincy said he wanted to be “crystal clear” that he views the Georgia law “unacceptable.”
“It is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity,” Quincy said. “This is frankly just a step backwards.”
After saying that the company has spent decades in Georgia promoting a more just society, Quincy reiterated that the new law is a step backward for progress.
“This legislation is wrong and needs to be remedied,” Quincy said. “We will continue to advocate for it in both private and now even more clearly in public.”
Pressed on why the company did not issue its public condemnation of the law sooner, Quincy maintained that the company has long opposed the legislation.
“We have a long track record of working in Georgia, with alliances, on our own account with legislators, with stakeholders,” Quincy said.
Quincy added that the legislation touches on “an area that’s particularly sensitive for Georgia” and did nothing to resolve it in way that is acceptable for Georgians.
“The reality is many things are improved and done and achieved in private without having to take a public stand, but in this case it has not worked, clearly,” Quincy said. “So we’re being more forceful in our public position, even more than we were earlier this week and will continue to advocate for change in Georgia.”
A number of Black community and civil rights groups have filed at least three lawsuits challenging several of the law’s provisions. The new Georgia voting law includes restrictions such as new ID requirements for mail voting, limits on dropbox use and banning the distribution of food and most beverages to voters waiting in line.
Watch Quincy’s remarks below:
EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola CEO says the restrictive Georgia voting law is "unacceptable…it is a step backward…"
Quincey also says "this legislation is wrong, and needs to be remedied, and we will continue to advocate for it both in private and in now even more clearly in public" pic.twitter.com/cdruteEiat
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 31, 2021