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Ford, GM among Michigan companies opposing Republican-backed voting limits

PoliticsApr 13, 2021 09:30PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra wears safety glasses on the assembly floor at the GM Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion,

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) - The top executives of more than three dozen Michigan-based companies, including General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Co, on Tuesday issued a joint statement opposing Republican-backed legislation to restrict voting.

The move appeared to be pre-emptive, after Georgia companies such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Co and Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) endured public backlash for failing to take a stronger stance before that state enacted a raft of voting limits last month.

"Government must avoid actions that reduce participation in elections - particularly among historically disenfranchised communities," the statement, which bore the names of 37 top executives, read in part.

Republican lawmakers in numerous states have proposed a slew of voting limits, after former President Donald Trump, a Republican, falsely claimed he lost November's election to President Joe Biden due to widespread fraud.

In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to veto bills that Republicans have proposed, including new restrictions on absentee and mail ballots.

The state Republican chairman, however, has previously suggested the party could attempt to circumvent Whitmer via a petition drive. The state constitution allows the legislature to pass a law that is not subject to veto if the proposal gathers enough voter signatures.

In addition to GM Chief Executive Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, the statement's signatories included Swamy Kotagiri, CEO of Magna International (NYSE:MGA); Jay Farmer, CEO of Rocket Companies Inc's Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage; and Jerry Norcia, CEO of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE).

The city's major sports franchises are also represented: Christopher Ilitch, CEO of the company that owns Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers and the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings; Rod Wood, CEO of the National Football League's Detroit Lions; and Arn Tellem, vice chairman of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons, all signed the statement.

Georgia's new law, which imposed tougher requirements for absentee ballots and made it illegal for members of the public to offer food and water to voters in line, drew criticism from many companies, including Delta and Coca-Cola.

Ford's Farley said at the time that the U.S. automaker wanted lawmakers to "assure everyone who's entitled to vote is able to exercise that freedom."

Some business leaders have also publicly opposed Republican-led efforts in Texas to pass new voting restrictions.

Most CEOs on a recent private call to discuss voting limits said they would reassess donating to candidates who support such measures and would reconsider whether to invest in states that pass them, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Ford, GM among Michigan companies opposing Republican-backed voting limits
 

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Comments (12)
Thomas Lyons
Thomas Lyons Apr 17, 2021 12:33PM ET
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Corporations provide products to the people who want them. They have no business trying to influence political issues. In doing so they hurt themselves and their sales.
Mark Manley
Mark Manley Apr 14, 2021 9:24AM ET
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yet another epic distortion of the facts by dimocrats, here's a thought, read the law yourself before you go spewing this kind of misinformation
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Apr 14, 2021 2:19AM ET
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just require citizens to vote in person and give them three or four days to do it without releasing the results until the end. if someone really wants to vote but doesn't have a car to get to the polling station, they can find someone to drive them. allow mail and voting only for people who have medical conditions that prevent them getting out of the house.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 14, 2021 1:31AM ET
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just fricking say it already! the dems want to keep cheating and stealing the elections!
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 14, 2021 1:12AM ET
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Republicans have lost touch with reality.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 14, 2021 1:12AM ET
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yawn
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 14, 2021 12:16AM ET
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The consotution stated that u must be us citizen to vote. That is a benefit. U have to prove u r a citizen. Without any mechanism to block non-citizen, it is a fraud n violation of the constitution,n citizenship benefits.
Denny Hopp
Denny Hopp Apr 13, 2021 9:46PM ET
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The auto manufacturers should petition the state governments to eliminate drivers' licenses. The requirement to have this license with a picture ID disenfranchises many people who would like to drive but cannot. Delta should petition the government to eliminate picture ID's as a requirement to fly. They make it harder for people to fly.
DJ Ryte
DJ Ryte Apr 13, 2021 9:46PM ET
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Chaos leads to lawlessness.. Vote early without ID (absentee ballot) and often... otherwise it is racist or disenfrancising?
Denny Hopp
Denny Hopp Apr 13, 2021 9:46PM ET
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The auto manufacturers should petition the state governments to eliminate drivers' licenses. The requirement to have this license with a picture ID disenfranchises many people who would like to drive but cannot. Delta should petition the government to eliminate picture ID's as a requirement to fly. They make it harder for people to fly.
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Apr 13, 2021 6:49PM ET
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Ohh, requiring voter ID is soooo racist. If corporate oligarchs oppose it, we may be in front of something seriously good for the people.
Ricky Singh
Ricky Singh Apr 13, 2021 6:49PM ET
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It disenfranchises poor/old folks. Any rational person can see that. I am not sure how it is good for people. It is only good for Republicans who don't want to see that class of voters vote.
Sam Caroni
Sam Caroni Apr 13, 2021 6:49PM ET
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Ricky Singh it's good for democrats because they push for open borders and mass immigration to win fraudulently
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 13, 2021 6:32PM ET
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Big corporations "promoting democracy" by coercing politicians with political donation and state investments threats  Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?!
Notvery Goodathis
Peteymcletey Apr 13, 2021 5:05PM ET
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Ford has gone 0 to Socialist real quick
john rivera
john rivera Apr 13, 2021 5:05PM ET
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Wanting to keep fair voting is socialist?
john rivera
john rivera Apr 13, 2021 5:05PM ET
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Wanting to keep fair voting is socialist?
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 13, 2021 5:05PM ET
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john rivera  Rules ensure fairness, which is what these bills do.  Those against them want to make and keep voting "easy", which was never a consideration before.  In the past when it was considered more a duty and responsibility, and duties and responsibilities require effort.  These companies are going left because it is obviously the left that are resisting these bills.
Jon Gr
Jon Gr Apr 13, 2021 5:05PM ET
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The Left wants voting to be so easy a caveman could do it. A caveman or anyone thats been dead for years really.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 13, 2021 4:42PM ET
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this is not a voting "limit". this is voting "integrity"
Ricky Singh
Ricky Singh Apr 13, 2021 4:42PM ET
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Republicans want to get to define voter "integrity". Sorry, doesn't work that way. Voter registration already vets folks eligible to voter. Poor/old people have issues with voter ID because they do not drive anymore, have expired ID's. There has been no statistically significant voter fraud found in any US election. Republicans only want to have restrictions to limit voting population.
Cameron Ericksen
Cameron Ericksen Apr 13, 2021 4:42PM ET
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you have to have ID to get a job, food stamps, TANF, etc. etc. Similar requirements could be put in place to vote. Help us understand how this would limit voter population. It seems that your motives may be a bit more dubious, but why is it okay to require id for all the aforementioned and not to vote?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 13, 2021 4:42PM ET
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Ricky Singh  That is all factually inaccurate Bur then, you're not rally interested in the truth.
 
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