Hundreds of Companies Unite to Oppose Voting Rights Limits, but Others Abstain

On Tuesday, a bank spokesman said: “We publicly made our own strong statement last month about the importance of ensuring that every citizen can exercise their basic right to vote.”

This statement, released on Wednesday, came together for the past week and a half after receiving a lot of support from the black leaders who spoke out.

About ten days ago, Mr. Chenault and Mr. Frazier were speaking to three other black executives – William M. Lewis Jr., chairman of investment banking at Lazard; Clarence Otis Jr., former executive director of Darden Restaurants; and Charles Phillips, a former director of Infor, on what next steps they might take. Within a few days, they had a draft of the statement and shared it with other executives.

Last Wednesday, Mr. Frazier and Mr. Chenault spoke to members of the Business Roundtable, an influential lobby group that includes the directors of many of the company’s largest companies. Sherrilyn A. Ifill, President and Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., also spoke to the group.

Then on Thursday, at the invitation of the group, one of Mr. McConnell’s staff members briefed their members on the details of Georgia law, several people familiar with the situation said.

The next day, the members of the Business Roundtable had a regularly scheduled meeting at which the executives discussed the coordination problem. At the call, Dan Schulman, PayPal’s chief executive officer, encouraged other executives to sign the statement.

And on Saturday, Mr. Chenault and Mr. Frazier spoke about a Zoom meeting of more than 100 executives organized by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor from Yale who regularly brings business leaders together to discuss politics. At that meeting, Mr. Chenault read the statement and invited executives to add their names to the list of signatories.

Comments are closed.