ATLANTA - Less than an hour after metro-Atlanta faith leaders wrapped up their announcement of a boycott of The Home Depot, Gov. Brian Kemp pushed back on their efforts in his own news conference.
"I'm here today supporting my friends and hardworking Georgians at Home Depot and any other Georgia company that's being boycotted by people that are not telling the truth about Senate Bill 202, the Elections Integrity Act," Gov. Kemp said at the state Capitol. "They did not ask to be in this political fight. It is unfair to them and their families and their livelihoods to be targeted."
According to Gov. Kemp, The Home Depot employs 30,000 Georgians and operates 90 facilities and 15 distribution centers in the state.
The governor maintains that the "Election Integrity Act of 2021" increases voter access to the polls. While the law adds more mandatory days of early voting statewide, opponents argue it makes voting less convenient in larger, metro areas.
The new law requires all counties to have at least one absentee ballot drop box, which were allowed for the first time under an emergency rule by the State Election Board in 2020. At the same time, it restricts counties to just one drop box per 100,000 registered voters.
Fulton County had about 40 drop boxes for the November election, but would be limited to only about 8 moving forward.
While some Republicans have said they will no longer support Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines for their public criticism of the law, Gov. Kemp took a different approach.
"I have not called on any boycotts. I think that's for the consumer to decide. In many ways that just hurts hardworking Georgians that work for these great companies when they have their leaders making these decisions. In some ways I think that's a little bit unfair for us not to support the Georgia worker. That's certainly what I want to do," said Gov. Kemp.
"Am I frustrated? Yes, I am frustrated with some of these companies that have been outspoken and really have not identified one single problem with the bill other than to make a broad-based statement. But I'm also frustrated that when you have a great company like Home Depot that comes out with a statement that says they support accessible, secure elections that that's not good enough in today's world and that is exactly what I warned against. Nothing is ever good enough. If they get one thing, they're going to come for something else and that's what should scare all Georgians and all Americans, quite honestly, if we let this continue."
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