Major Companies Advocate for Federal Control of Elections

Jul 14, 2021

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Nestlé are among the 166 corporations that have signed on to a letter urging Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (JL Act). Named for the former congressman after his death, the bill is yet to be introduced in the House this session.

The website for the coalition of companies, called Business for Voting Rights, states, “The business community calls on Congress to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act, removing barriers to voting and building the truly representative 21st century democracy our country deserves” (emphasis added).

The letter praises the late Congressman John Lewis and voter participation in the 2020 election before stating, “the election [2020] highlighted deep inequities in how our elections are run.” … We need federal protections to safeguard this fundamental right for all Americans.” The letter then goes on to insist Congress pass the JL Act to “restore necessary safeguards by updating the Voting Rights Act’s coverage formula to prevent voting discrimination.”

“Coverage formula” refers to the preclearance requirement in the JL Act. Under the JL Act, states would be required to receive preclearance before making any election reforms. Every minute detail of states’ election processes would be subject to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In short, these 166 companies are advocating for all state and local election changes to be under federal control.

The letter from the corporate world to Congress comes just one day after Joe Biden gave a speech on voting rights at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. In his speech, Biden called for passing both the “For the People Act” (HR 1) and the JL Act.

HR 1 passed in the House but has been unable to achieve the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. With this roadblock, attention has turned to reviving the JL Act.

You can read the Business for Voting Rights letter to Congress here.

To learn more about HR 1 and the "preclearance" requirement, visit

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