NEW YORK – More than 150 companies, including Apple Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and PepsiCo, called on U.S. lawmakers to enact and pass a referendum law in a letter signed Wednesday as other efforts stalled in Congress.
The companies urged lawmakers to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, an amendment to the 1965 Voting Rights Act named after the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, who died nearly a year ago. The action would help prevent discrimination in voting and create an improved system for states to report changes to the electoral law.
“We have a duty to work until every American can participate in our democracy, but that will not happen until every voter in this country has fair, just and secure access to the vote,” said Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., has signed the letter in a prepared statement.
The companies are part of a group of business leaders called Business for Voting Rights.
“Business is proud of our role in encouraging our employees, customers and communities to exercise their right to vote and influence our government,” the companies wrote in the letter.
U.S. companies have spoken out in favor of voting rights reforms and against voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states, including Georgia. Some companies have come under fire from elected officials for their positions.
Former President Donald Trump and his supporters have made unfounded allegations that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Democrats are expected to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Reuters reported.
Another sweeping referendum reform act, For the People Act, has disappeared in Congress. President Joe Biden said in Philadelphia on Tuesday that the action should be adopted, but did not outline a path for it to overcome Republican opposition.