Companies calling for a voting rights bill donated to Republicans who blocked it, watchdog says

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Several companies that have publicly declared their support for legislation strengthening the voting rights law have donated thousands of dollars this year to Republicans who recently blocked the bill in the Senate, according to new analysis.

Accountable.US, a watchdog group, found that eight major companies that signed a letter in July calling for passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 collectively donated $ 164,500 to senators. of the GOP who voted this week against allowing the debate on the measure. The companies include household names like Amazon, Dell, and Facebook.

The corporate-backed voting bill would require states with recent histories of discrimination to seek federal “preclearance” to change their voting laws, a response to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder who gutted the preclearance system in the voting rights. Act of 1965. Civil rights advocates argued that the provision was successful in preventing proposed voting restrictions in states and localities with a history of racial discrimination.

“We need federal protections to protect this basic right for all Americans,” the companies wrote in the July letter, which was signed by more than 230 companies. “Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Advancement of Voting Rights Act. We support the ongoing work of the House and Senate to enact legislation amending the Voting Rights Act during of this Congress. “

Dell Technologies, whose founder Michael Dell spoke out against proposed voting restrictions, has donated $ 38,500 to Senate Republicans since January, while Amazon has donated $ 22,500, according to Accountable. US.

Microsoft Corp., which lobbied against restrictive state laws throughout the spring, regularly made donations to Senate Republicans-affiliated political action committees through the end of June, the watchdog said in his analysis.

Facebook, meanwhile, donated $ 26,500 to Senate Republicans’ re-election campaigns, according to the analysis.

Amazon, Dell, Facebook and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The House passed the voting law in August without any Republican votes. In the Senate, he won the support of a single Senate Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska.

Democrats have sought to advance federal voting laws, as some Republican-led states have advanced restrictive voting laws.

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