Texas-Based Companies Speak Out Against Texas Restrictive Voting Bills

Over the past couple of months, the new Georiga voting laws have been getting a lot of attention in the news and across social media. No matter what side you're on, there is no question that the new laws created an uproar amongst Georgia-based companies such as Coca-Cola. Some, such as the MLB, when as far as removing their All-star game from the state, thus preventing the state from obtaining millions in tax revenue. In fact, major figures from Pepsi and Paypal met in a zoom meeting to discuss what further actions they can take against the state. Today, history seems to be repeating itself within the lone star state as they themselves seek to introduce a new set of voting laws.

Early to the Game

One of the criticisms that many of the companies that spoke out against the voting laws in Georgia involved their timing. The fact is that many of the companies who opposed the bills did not speak out until the bills were already signed into law. This has caused companies in Texas to begin discussing if they should jump into the game early on. According to opponents of these voting bills, having Texas-based companies speak out before the laws are even debated on the floor can help to stop them in their tracks. However, most of the largest companies in Texas, except American Airlines and Dell, refused to take part in this protest. Journalists have reached out to some of the largest companies in the state, such as Southwest Airlines and Bumble, about their take on the voting bills. Companies like Exxon Mobil expressed their views that everyone should have equal and wide access to the ballot box. In contrast, the majority of other companies simply declined to comment on the issue. Some of those companies that declined to comment included the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Halliburton, to name a few.

Competing Interests

Although many companies are coming forward to express their disagreement with the potential new voting laws, most of the bigger players are keeping quiet in an attempt to weigh their options of whether or not to publicly state their position. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been a staunch supporter of the type of laws seen within the state of Georgia and is not working towards bringing those same changes to the lone star state. In fact, Abbott felt so strongly about the decision of the MLB to remove the all-star game from Georgia that he turned down an invitation to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers game. These types of moves have made companies wary about coming out with their own position. Some, like American Airlines, have taken to their blogs to express their disagreement with Gov. Abbot, as well as assuring that they stand with bills that keep the integrity of our democracy but that don't keep others from exercising their right to vote. Others, such as Texa's largest oil-field services company Schlumberger, continue to decline to take a stance on the issue. The only comment from their headquarters was that they are determined to remain politically natural, something that has been their policy for many years.

Bills Being Introduced in Texas

Although it is still unclear what other measures the Texas legislator will introduce, the ones on the table are already bringing upon a lot of criticism from national and Texas democrats. These include House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7. Some of the more controversial parts of these bills include the elimination of 24-hour voting, the inability of Texas election officials to send mail-in ballot applications. Many have called these proposals an attack on voters and an attack on people of color. This is because people of color disproportionately use these methods to vote during major elections. However, proponents of the bill continually state that these bills are in no way intended to discriminate but to strengthen the legitimacy of future Texas elections. The two largest companies (American Airlines and Dell) who have spoken out on this issue have stated that voting is the hallmark of our democracy and is the foundation of our great country. Lastly, that bills introduced should make voting easier, not harder.

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