AP Photo/Matt York In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo voters deliver their ballot to a polling station in Tempe, Ariz.
AP Photo/Matt York

Dozens of Arizona business leaders signed an op-ed condemning the bills, but many others didn’t comment.

The Arizona Legislature is considering a host of bills that would make it more difficult for voters to cast their ballots. 

The bills in Arizona have drawn ire from business leaders statewide, including many more than 50 executives who signed an Arizona Capitol Times op-ed penned by Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL) condemning the bills. Those leaders include Michael Bidwill of the Arizona Cardinals and Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health. 

A similar bill passed in Georgia earlier this year and was quickly condemned by large companies based in the state, including Coca-Cola and Delta. Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game out of the city over the legislation, and actor Will Smith announced he would stop filming his latest movie there in protest of the bill. 

“These efforts are misguided and must be defeated,” the op-ed stated. “And as private-sector business leaders who lead the Public Policy Committee of an organization of CEOs at the helm of hundreds of thousands of employees in Arizona, it is incumbent upon us to speak out against proposals that could interfere with any Arizonan’s right to vote.”

Pressure on companies to speak out against the bills is mounting. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced earlier this week it is launching an ad campaign to demand Allstate, CVS, Enterprise Holdings, Farmers Insurance, and more businesses publicly oppose the bills.   

Some large companies, including Amazon, Google, GM, and Starbucks, have already stepped up to oppose anti-voter bills in several states. 

But many others have remained mum.

The Copper Courier reached out to more than a dozen companies that are based in Arizona or have a large presence in the state. These companies did not return multiple requests for comment: 

  • Bashas’
  • Carvana
  • Circle K
  • Coldstone Creamery
  • Drivetime
  • Fender
  • Four Peaks
  • Freeport-McMoRan
  • Frito-Lays
  • Fry’s Food Stores
  • GoDaddy
  • Harkins
  • Honeywell
  • Intel
  • ON Semiconductor
  • Peter Piper Pizza
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • U-Haul

A spokesperson for Shamrock Farms did respond but said the company does not plan to release a statement on the bills. And a spokesperson for Axon said the company is “unable to provide a comment on this matter.” 

The Copper Courier is continuing to reach out to companies and will update this list with responses. 

What the Bills Would Do

The GPL op-ed specifically called out three bills that would negatively affect voters:

  • SB 1485, which would remove voters who don’t vote in four consecutive elections from the early voting list
  • SB 1593, which would reduce the early voting period by five days
  • SB 1713, which would require mail-in to include an affidavit with the voter’s date of birth and driver’s license number

“These proposals are a concerted effort from those in Arizona—and across the nation—who wish to sow additional doubts about our elections in the minds of voters, and feed into the paranoia that has plagued our political discourse over the past several months,” the GPL op-ed stated. 

The SEIU compiled a fuller list that includes bills that would allow legislators to decide presidential elections rather than voters, retaliate against protesters, limit Arizonans’ ability to pass ballot measures, and more.  

Rosemary Avila, campaign manager for All Voting is Local Arizona, said the proposed bills are clear attacks on our voting rights. “And if we’re attacking our voting rights, then ultimately we’re attacking our democracy,” she told the Copper Courier last month.

A Federal Solution 

A potential solution to fighting some of these bills is the passage of the federal For the People Act. Also known as HR 1/S 1, the legislation would create national standards for elections. 

The act would implement automatic voter registration across the country, meaning Arizonans interacting with government agencies would automatically be registered to vote as the default with an option for people to opt-out. 

The law would also allow anyone who wants to vote by mail. About 80% of Arizonans currently vote this way. 

The For the People Act would also establish same-day voter registration, put guardrails on purging voter lists, and mandate at least 15 days for early voting, including weekends. 

“In order for us to have a strong democracy, we need to make sure that it’s inclusive of all people, of all voices, and everybody from all backgrounds,” Avila said. “If we don’t [pass HR 1], it’s hard for us to make progress on any other critical issues that are facing our state here in Arizona and our country more broadly.”