By Associated Press - Friday, June 8, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An advocacy group is calling on Apple and Amazon to drop North Carolina’s Research Triangle as potential campus sites because of a legislative effort to put voter identification requirements into the state constitution.

The News and Observer of Raleigh reports Color of Change says it ran ads in newspapers in Seattle and San Jose, California, telling the two companies to “reject racism, not reward it.”

House Speaker Tim Moore and other GOP representatives filed Thursday a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the current qualifications to vote. If the referendum is agreed to by the both Senate and House, the question would be on ballots statewide in November.

It’s time for companies to “show that disenfranchising the black vote should be bad for business,” said Brandi Collins-Dexter, the Color of Change senior campaign director.

Neither Berger nor Moore responded immediately to a request for comment Friday.

North Carolina is on the list of 20 sites being considered for Seattle-based Amazon’s second headquarters. Apple, based outside of San Jose, California, is considering a Research Triangle Park site for one of its campuses.

The group’s warning to Apple and Amazon mirrors a campaign LGBT activists have waged over North Carolina’s stance on gay rights.

A campaign called No Gay, No Way! seeks to prevent Amazon from picking a state with discriminatory policies. The news site Axios reported last month that LGBT activists are “reacting with anger and dismay” over word that Apple is considering a site in Research Triangle Park.

Criticism stems from the legacy of HB2, known as “the bathroom bill.” In March 2017, the state repealed the provision in HB2 that required people to use public restrooms that match their gender at birth, rather than their gender identity. But the state does not allow cities and counties to enact anti-discrimination ordinances, a prohibition in effect until at least Dec. 1, 2020.


Information from: The News & Observer,

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