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Black Voters Matter fights back against AT&T’s funding of Texas voter suppression

“When voting rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” shouted the crowd of Black Voters Matter activists outside AT&T headquarters in Dallas last month.

These activists were outraged that AT&T donated $574,500 to the lawmakers behind a series of harsh voter suppression bills in Texas. 

While Texas is one of 47 states with proposed laws that would make it even harder to vote, the state already has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, and AT&T’s corporate support of these lawmakers makes it even more egregious.

Not surprisingly, AT&T isn’t apologizing for their donations to suppress the vote, so CREDO grantee Black Voters Matter is holding them accountable and fighting back.

There’s no doubt that these proposed Texas voter suppression bills — what Black Voters Matters is calling Jim Crow 2.0 — are aimed at voters of color, voters with disabilities and other marginalized communities to make it much more difficult to cast a ballot.

According to Judd Legum at Popular Information, whose tenacious reporting continues to reveal the funding of right-wing causes and Republican politicians by corporate America, especially AT&T, two of the most expansive and restrictive voter suppression bills in Texas, SB 7 and HB 6, would make it extremely difficult for Texans to vote absentee or by mail, prohibit mobile, outdoor, and drive-through polling locations, effectively ban mass voting locations like sports arenas, and essentially allow poll watchers to intimidate voters. Under HB 6, volunteers who call voters to discuss returning absentee ballots and are provided a snack could be charged with a crime. 

That’s why, after Legum’s reporting revealed AT&T’s donations to these lawmakers, leaders and activists at Black Voters Matter and their allies organized a rally and press conference outside of AT&T’s Dallas headquarters to push back:

Throughout April, Black Voters Matter has been ramping up the pressure on AT&T by mobilizing activists to take action to stop these bills from becoming law They have launched  digital campaigns, deployed paid ads, and led protests calling on the corporation to block HB 6 and SB 7. They have continued to support the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act at the federal level. And Black Voters Matter is urging AT&T to cut financial ties with all lawmakers who attack voting rights (check out their resources page here). The group also produced a 30-second video spot explaining what’s at stake:

Just last week, Black Voters Matter again organized a protest outside of AT&T’s Dallas headquarters, urging the company to take a stand against voter suppression in the state:

At the rally, Black Voters Matter co-founder and executive director Cliff Albright had some very powerful words for AT&T, calling out the company for running “cute commercials” claiming support for Black Lives Matter and civil rights icons Martin Luther King and John Lewis while funding lawmakers who are taking away the voting rights of Black Texans:

If you’re as outraged as we are about voter suppression in Texas and AT&T’s funding of lawmakers who back this legislation, here are some steps you can take:

Texas residents can:

Out-of-state residents can:

  • Sign the petition urging AT&T to stop funding voter suppression;
  • Follow Black Voters Matter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest updates on this campaign and all of their important work; or

Join CREDO Mobile. As a CREDO customer, you help fund the important work of groups like Black Voters Matter who are fighting to protect the right to vote — unlike AT&T, who funds voter suppression efforts. Since 1985, CREDO has donated over $10 million to groups fighting to protect and expand our right to vote, and you can always feel secure that your phone bill is supporting voting rights and the progressive causes you are about.