A handful of insurance industry executives signed a letter from hundreds of major companies, corporate leaders and celebrities released on Wednesday stating opposition to laws restricting voting rights.
American International Group CEO Peter Zaffino is among the most prominent property/casualty insurance executives who signed.
The letter, published April 14 as a paid advertisement in the Washington Post, New York Times and elsewhere, comes as a number of states debate proposed election laws that supporters say would help strengthen and protect the voting process but opponents have argued would drastically restrict voting rights, particularly for underrepresented groups.
Zaffino addressed his rationale for signing in a statement posted recently on his LinkedIn account, where he asserted that “AIG denounces all efforts to restrict the constitutional right of Americans to Vote.” His remarks point out that equal access to voting in the United States is considered a core tenet.
“Equal access to voting is a fundamental right in the United States. Making voting easier, not harder, for all eligible voters should be the goal of every elected official,” Zaffino wrote. “Election laws that layer unnecessary obstacles and barriers to the right to vote and that knowingly disenfranchise black, brown and other underrepresented groups, represent a significant step backward for all Americans. Now, more than ever, courageous leadership is required from our elected officials. ”
Lemonade co-founders Daniel Schreiber (CEO) and Shai Wininger (president and COO) also signed the letter, as did Warren Buffett and Roger Crandall, president and CEO of life insurer MassMutual.
A Lemonade spokesperson declined to comment on why Lemonade’s co-founders signed the letter, other than noting “the statement speaks for itself.”
As well, consulting companies Accenture and Deloitte were among the hundreds of signatories with insurance connections.
Companies from multiple industries signed the letter, representing sectors such as healthcare and biotechnology, and iconic American businesses signed on including General Motors, IBM and Johnson & Johnson — maker of one of the COVID-19 vaccines now approved in the United States. Celebrities ranging from Paula Abdul to Sacha Baron Cohen, “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, pop singer Ariana Grande and actor Samuel Jackson also added their names.
Here is the letter:
- “WE STAND FOR DEMOCRACY – A Government of the people, by the people. A beautifully American ideal, but a reality denied to many for much of this nation’s history.
- “As Americans, we know that in our democracy we should not expect to agree on everything.
- “However, regardless of our political affiliations, we believe the very foundation of our electoral process rests upon the ability of each of us to cast our ballots for the candidates of our choice.
- “For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us.
- “We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.
- “Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy and we call upon all Americans to join us in taking a nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans.”