N.C. county bans Coca-Cola vending machines for voting law stance

North Carolina county BANS Coca-Cola vending machines from official buildings in protest at company’s ‘woke’ stance on Georgia voting law

  • Van Tucker, a Surry County commissioner, said on Friday that he decided to remove the county’s 12 vending machines 
  • The move comes after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey criticized a Georgia voting bill signed into law in April
  • Quincey wrote in a blog post for Coca-Cola, which is headquartered in Atlanta, that he was ‘disappointed’ that the voting law had passed in Georgia
  • Tucker described the controversial Georgia voting law as a way for the Peach State to ensure a ‘fair and free’ election 
  • The county’s Board of Commissioners, its legislative body, passed the ban with a 3-2 vote at a meeting on May 17 
  • Critics of the law have called it an attempt at voter suppression and claim it unfairly restricts minorities from voting

A North Carolina county has axed Coca-Cola vending machines from its office buildings in protest over the company’s ‘woke’ stance on a Georgia voting law.

Van Tucker, a Surry County commissioner, told Fox News on Friday that he decided to remove the county’s 12 vending machines after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey criticized a Georgia voting bill signed into law in April.

Tucker described the controversial Georgia voting law as a way for the Peach State to ensure a ‘fair and free’ election – though critics have called the law an attempt at voter suppression and claim it unfairly restricts minorities from voting.

The county’s Board of Commissioners, its legislative body, passed the ban with a 3-2 vote at a meeting on May 17. Surry County was won by former President Donald Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

‘I didn’t want that to be contagious across other state. And you know I felt so strongly about it and our board did – we decided to just step up and say something and do something about it,’ Tucker told Fox News.

Van Tucker, a Surry County commissioner, told Fox News on Friday that he decided to remove the county’s 12 vending machines

Tucker described the controversial Georgia voting law as a way for the Peach State to ensure a ‘fair and free’ election

The move comes after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey criticized a Georgia voting bill signed into law in April

Tucker received an email from a subsidiary of Coca-Cola asking the county to change its mind about removing the vending machines

Tucker said it was important to ‘stand up’ against Coca-Cola as the county would not be able to reach out to every major corporation he claims are ‘interfering’ with the integrity of elections.

‘This woke culture that seems to be trying to reform America as we’ve known it is enough,’ he said.

He added: ‘There is power in numbers and courage can sometimes be courageous.’

Coca-Cola said in a statement to The Washington Examiner that representatives from the company’s local bottler have reached out to the county commissioners and ‘look forward to continuing their productive conversations with those officials.’

Tucker received an email from a subsidiary of Coca-Cola asking the county to change its mind about removing the vending machines, he told Fox News.

Ed Harris, another county commissioner, wrote a letter to Quincey obtained by NBC News in which he slammed the CEO for  ‘corporate political commentary favoring the Democratic party.’

‘Our Board felt that was the best way to take a stand and express our disappointment in Coca-Cola’s actions, which are not representative of most views of our citizens,’ Harris wrote to Quincey. 

‘Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company are more considerate of all your customers’ viewpoints.’

The vending machine spat comes after Quincey wrote in a blog post for Coca-Cola, which is headquartered in Atlanta, that he was ‘disappointed’ that the voting law had passed in Georgia.  

‘Voting is a foundational right in America, and we have long championed efforts to make it easier to vote,’ Quincey wrote.

‘We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation. Throughout Georgia’s legislative session we provided feedback to members of both legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in the bills that would diminish or deter access to voting.’

He added: ‘Our approach has always been to work with stakeholders to advocate for positive change, and we will continue to engage with legislators, advocacy groups, business leaders and others to work towards ensuring broad access to voting is available to every eligible voter in our home state.’

‘Additionally, our focus is now on supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country,’ he said. 

‘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.’

After the bill passed, President Joe Biden blasted it in a statement from the White House as ‘Jim Crow in the 21st Century’ while urging Congress to pass national voting acts favored by Democrats. 

Joe Biden had blasted a new Georgia voting law as ‘Jim Crow in the 21st Century’ while urging Congress to pass national voting acts favored by Democrats

Gov. Brian Kemp said that there’s ‘nothing Jim Crow’ about Georgia’s new voting law

The sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s election rules was the first big set of changes since former President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims of fraud following his presidential loss to Biden. 

People who submit absentee ballots must show a driver’s license or state ID, and barring that, must submit additional proof of their identity.

The law also expanded weekend early voting in the general election, but shortens the time for runoffs from nine weeks to four. And early voting drop boxes can now only be placed in early voting locations instead of in additional spots like libraries and other government buildings that might be more convenient for some voters. 

Much of the work administering elections in Georgia is handled by the state’s 159 counties. The law gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. 

That has led to concerns that the Republican-controlled state board could exert more influence over the administration of elections, including the certification of county results. 

Protesters gather to voice their opposition to a far-reaching overhaul of the Georgia’s election laws. Voting rights groups say the new law will target black residents who make up roughly a third of the state’s population

The bill was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and has restrictive measures, including elimination of mobile voting vans that reduced long lines on Election Day, and criminalized distribution of food or water to anyone waiting in lines to vote

Volunteers with Democracy Delicious handing out food and refreshments to voters lining up outside a voting center in Austell, Georgia. The state’s new law has criminalized the distribution of food or water to people waiting to vote

The new law makes it a misdemeanor to hand out ‘any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink’ to anyone standing in line to vote. The prohibition extends 150 feet from a polling place and 25 feet from any person standing in line.

Advocates of the law say they are attempting to crack down on political organizations or advocacy groups trying to influence voters just before they cast a ballot. 

Critics say it’s cruel and would penalize even nonpartisan groups or individuals for something as simple as giving water to someone waiting in a long line.

Coca-Cola’s Georgia voting law stance came under fire as the latest example of ‘woke capitalism,’ the term used to describe huge corporations getting involved in progressive issues.

The term was coined by conservative blogger Ross Douthat in 2015 in an article her wrote for The New York Times, according to The Heritage Foundation.

Twitter user Chrys O’Theras pointed to a recent example of ‘woke capitalism’ noting major brands that have included Pride colors in the logos for their flagship corporate accounts – though not including Pride colors in the company’s accounts targeting the Middle East, which have strict laws completely banning homosexuality.

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