KEY POINTS

  • Several GOP lawmakers in Georgia are boycotting Coca-Cola products
  • Coke CEO James Quincey slammed Georgia's new voting law as "a step backward"
  • The new voting legislation, its critics say, could disproportionately affect people of color

A group of GOP lawmakers in Georgia are moving to remove Coca-Cola products from their offices after the company’s CEO slammed the state’s recently passed voting bill. 

In a letter dated Saturday, eight Republican representatives claimed that the company caved to “cancel culture” and accused it of “perpetuating a national dialogue.” The legislators also said Coca-Cola had intentionally misled Georgia residents and caused a deeper divide in the state. 

“We have the responsibility to all of Georgia to not engage in those misguided intentions nor continue to support corporations who choose to,” the legislators wrote in the letter addressed to Kevin Perry, president and CEO of the Georgia Beverage Association. 

“Given Coke’s choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products to be removed from our office suite immediately,” the lawmakers added. 

The letter’s signatories were Georgia House Reps. Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower.

The letter came days after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey slammed a voting legislation signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as “a step backwards.”

“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” Quincey said

The new law would now create a voter ID requirement for absentee voting. This means voters who cast mail-in ballots have to provide one form of identification. Critics say it would likely affect people of color. 

The law also will shrink the window for early and absentee voting. Rather than allow voters to request ballots six months before the election, the state would now give ballots to voters 78 days before Election Day, while counties would send out ballots 29 days before. Critics say the smaller windows would mean that any mail delays may cause some voters to not receive their ballots on time. 

One provision limits the use of ballot drop boxes in each county to one per early-voting site or one for every 100,000 voters in the county, whichever is the smaller number. 

Critics of the legislation say the new law will restrict voter access. President Joe Biden slammed it as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

“Recount after recount and court case after court case upheld the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. "This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end.”

Coca-Cola is one of many companies, including Delta, Under Armour, Dell, HP, Twitter, Estée Lauder, Salesforce and ViacomCBS, that have condemned proposals that threaten to restrict voting access in dozens of states.

During an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, Biden said he supports Major League Baseball moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in July to boycott the state's voting bill. 

"I think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly," the president said. "I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They're leaders. ... This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they're doing in Georgia and 40 other states."

Coca-Cola said it is exploring its legal options after the US Tax Court largely sided with tax authorities in an ongoing dispute with the soda giant Coca-Cola said it is exploring its legal options after the US Tax Court largely sided with tax authorities in an ongoing dispute with the soda giant Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN