Coca-Cola has come out more strongly against a new Georgia law restricting access to voting, after its original, more neutral statement sparked threats of a boycott.
The measure in question, signed into law last week, requires photo ID for absentee voters, gives state officials power to override local election officials, limits the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots, and shortens the absentee voting period. In a provision that attracted nationwide notoriety, it forbids furnishing food or water to voters stuck in long lines. Opponents have called it an attempt by Republicans to make ballot access more difficult for Black voters.
When the measure was being proposed, Coca-Cola originally came out with a statement saying it was “aligned with” opposition to it and that it would “continue to press for improvements to Georgia's election laws in future sessions." But that statement was slammed as ineffectual, and some of the measure’s opponents started calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola.
“If Coca-Cola wants Black and brown people to drink their product, then they must speak up when our rights, our lives and our very democracy as we know it is under attack,” a Black religious leader told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
CEO James Quincey then stated in an interview with CNBC that the law was “unacceptable. It’s 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.”