Reflecting on voting rights.

By: Hans Vestberg

Voting is a civic action and a cornerstone of our democracy that not only brings us together, it also shapes our future.

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V Team,

It seems that with increasing frequency, we are bombarded by news headlines that give us pause. For me, this week has been one of those moments. Between the continued violent attacks on the Asian community, the start of the trial in the death of George Floyd, the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country and around the world, and the increase in mass shootings, there’s no lack of issues to be concerned about.

At Verizon, we believe that speaking out on social issues is how we live out our values. If an issue is important to our stakeholders — our employees, our customers, our shareholders and society — it’s important to us. As you’ve heard me say, our purpose is to create the networks that move the world forward, which means moving the world forward for everyone.

That’s why I’ve also been reflecting on the voting rights issue that has recently emerged. We strongly oppose the passage of any legislation or the adoption of any measure that would make it harder for voters, including historically marginalized groups — people of color, seniors, students and people with disabilities — to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot.

There are changes to voting laws currently under construction in multiple states across the U.S. Our leadership team is monitoring these developments closely at the state and federal levels.

While we recognize that everyone has different priorities and beliefs informing why they vote and who they support, as a democratic society, we are stronger together when everyone can cast their ballot free from unnecessary restrictions. And we will support nonpartisan efforts to encourage voting and make it more accessible for all eligible voters.

That’s why I also stand firmly with my colleagues at the Business Roundtable, who released the following statement yesterday:

“The right to vote is the essence of a democratic society, and the voice of every voter should be heard in fair elections that are conducted with integrity. Unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote strike at the heart of representative government. Business Roundtable members believe state laws must safeguard and guarantee the right to vote.

Over the course of our nation’s history, the right to vote was hard fought for so many Americans, particularly women and people of color. We call on elected officials across the country to advance voting rights by continuing efforts to provide greater access to voting and encourage broad voter participation.”

Voting is a civic action that not only brings us together, it also shapes our future. We call upon all policymakers to be guided by these fundamental principles, which are the cornerstone of democracy.

#ForwardTogether #VTeam

Hans

About the author(s):

Hans Vestberg is the chairman and chief executive officer of Verizon. 

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