JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is speaking out in defense of voting rights in the wake of Georgia’s restrictive voting law and as other battleground states consider similar actions.
The company’s “employees span the United States and as state capitals debate election laws, we believe voting must be accessible and equitable,” Dimon said in a statement provided exclusively to CNN Business.
“We regularly encourage our employees to exercise their fundamental right to vote, and we stand against efforts that may prevent them from being able to do so,” the JPMorgan (JPM) CEO said. The company has more than 250,000 employees around the world.
Dimon’s comments stand in contrast to the relative silence from major business groups and CEOs after Georgia passed a new law last week that civil rights and voting rights groups see as a concerted effort to suppress Black and other voters of color.
The Georgia law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to give voters food and water while they wait in line. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce put out a statement last week applauding the controversial Georgia voting law.
Meanwhile, some other Republican-led states have moved to roll back easy access to voting or impose new obstacles. More than 250 bills in 45 state legislatures have been introduced that would curb or complicate access to polls, CNN has previously reported, citing research from the Brennan Center for Justice.
Dimon’s statement does not specifically call out the Georgia law.
“Voting is fundamental to the health and future of our democracy,” he said. “We are a stronger country when every citizen has a voice and a vote.”
The JPMorgan CEO also spoke out during the heated 2020 presidential election urging Americans to stay calm and “respect the democratic process.”
Last fall, JPMorgan announced a five-year, $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity, including $8 billion in mortgages for Black and Latinx households and $14 billion to finance 100,000 affordable rental units.