Elizabeth Fairchild
(202) 861-1270

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to advance the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which packages together key provisions from the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Now, the legislation moves to the Senate floor, where Democrats will trigger rules which allow a simple majority vote to begin debate. 

Ahead of this final push, more than 1,000 small business leaders — representing every state in the country — signed our Business Leader Statement on the Freedom to Vote Act urging Congress to take immediate action.

More than 370 of those who signed also submitted comments explaining why the voting rights and anti-corruption reforms are important to their business. “Business leaders tend to touch on three key points when describing how a strong rule of law makes for a successful business environment,” said Liz Fairchild, executive director of Business Forward. “Businesses are successful in competitive, transparent, and responsive markets. The same is true of our democracy.”

“Too often I see clients who move out of state because of political underrepresentation. No entrepreneur likes to see voting systems that are restrictive,” explained Maria Palacios, CEO of Palacios Contigo, LLC. in Lawrenceville, Georgia. “In these days when it is hard to find employees, making clear that the freedom to vote is a key value can help recruit and retain talent,” added Melissa Sanderson, President of Mel Sanderson Consulting in Phoenix, Arizona. 

To hear more from local business leaders, download the statement document.




The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.