SB 202: Corporations & Partisanship: The push towards US corporation involvement in politics

By Mary Katreeb, STAFF WRITER
What role, if any, should U.S. corporations play in U.S. politics? While individuals in the U.S. are taught to register to vote, stay informed, and participate in democracy, does the same hold true for corporations? Corporations such as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Dell have all taken a stance in regard to Georgia Senate Bill 202. They have voiced their disapproval of this new legislation.
Georgia Senate Bill 202, a recently passed piece of legislation that expands identification requirements for Georgia voters. SB 202 also makes it illegal to hand out food or water while voters wait in line. This specific provision is noteworthy considering the long lines at polling stations that Georgia saw during the 2020 election. However, it is the identification requirements, i.e., providing an elector name and a government-issued ID number when filling out absentee ballots, that have put this bill in the news.
The Republican-backed, Democrat opposed bill has been highly publicized and controversial. Organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the League of Women Voters of Georgia, and the GALEO Latin Community Development Fund have called for boycotts of corporations who do not take a stand against SB 202.
As a result of such backlash, Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest. However, this move will economically impact Georgia businesses who would have seen the benefits of having an All-Star game in their town. While the MLB commissioner stated that the intention was to support Georgia citizens, the move out of Atlanta will likely do the opposite. In the era of COVID-19, businesses can use any boost to their sales.
By calling for boycotts, individuals are using their power as consumers to direct the policy of U.S. corporations. Is this a new political tool? We must ask ourselves what the implications are when corporations are integrated into politics.