National: How the corporate backlash to Georgia’s new voting law is shaping other fights around the country over access to the polls | Amy Gardner and Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post
Behind closed doors, aides to Georgia’s top Republicans and its leading business interests spent the final days of March hashing out new voting legislation in an effort to quell a growing outcry that GOP lawmakers were pushing measures that would severely curtail access to the polls. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and representatives of major corporations, including Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, worked directly with legislative leaders and the office of Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to exclude some of the more controversial proposals, according to people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Republicans agreed to drop, for instance, language barring most Georgians from voting by mail and curtailing early voting on weekends. They even expanded early-voting hours in the final bill. The hope of Republicans involved, according to a half-dozen people familiar with the process, was to pull off a delicate political balancing act: satisfying voters who believe former president Donald Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election because of rampant fraud — while heading off accusations of voter suppression from the left.