Coca-Cola machines banned from North Carolina county’s government offices over opposition to voting law

U.S. & World

Surry County commissioners voted to remove Coca-Cola machines from government facilities after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey spoke out against Georgia’s controversial election law. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – A county commission in North Carolina has voted to remove Coca-Cola vending machines from its offices after the company voiced its opposition to Georgia’s controversial election law in early April.

Surry County commissioners voted to remove the vending machines “from Surry County Government facilities” on May 17, with one of the commissioners citing what he perceived to be Coca-Cola’s “support of the out-of-control cancel culture and bigoted leftist mob.”

Surry County Commissioner Eddie Harris informed Coca-Cola of its decision in a letter sent to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey.

“I am writing to you on behalf of the Surry County, NC Board of County Commissioners,” Harris began the letter. “Recently, you as CEO of the Coca-Cola Corporation, released a statement speaking out against Georgia S.B. 202. This bill is a result of the chaos that transpired during the 2020 election.”

Harris went on to claim that “millions of Americans believe that the last presidential election was not held in a fair manner and that more voter fraud will occur in the future if elections are not more closely monitored and regulated.”

“Our board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola,” he added, in part.  

The Surry County Commissioners’ decision comes more than two months after Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on Senate Bill 202, which would require photo ID for absentee voters, limit the number of drop boxes for ballots, and prohibit providing food and drink to voters waiting in line (other than “self-service” water stations provided by election officials), among other changes.

Supporters claim the law was needed to safeguard the integrity of the state’s elections, while critics felt it would restrict access to voting — disproportionately so for voters of color.

In response to the bill, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey was one of several Georgia executives to speak out against the law.

We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation,” wrote Quincey, who claimed the bill would “diminish or deter” access to voting in an April 1 statement.

“Additionally, our focus is now on supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country,” he concluded the statement. “We all have a duty to protect everyone’s right to vote, and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.”

Coca-Cola wasn’t alone in its opposition to the new law, either. The MLB responded by moving its 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado. And the CEO of Delta Air Lines, which, like Coca-Cola, is also based in Atlanta, said in late March that it was “evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives.” 

Surry County Commissioner Harris did not reveal whether the Coca-Cola vending machines had been removed from Surry County buildings as of Thursday.

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