US North Carolina County Bans Coke Vending Machines in Attempt to 'Cancel' Company
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A North Carolina county decided to ban Coca-Cola vending machines in its office buildings after the company outwardly expressed criticism over Georgia's new voting restrictions.
North Carolina's Surry County decided to remove the machines after the Atlanta-based soft drink company released a statement on April 1 to express their disappointment over the voting laws passed in Georgia in March.
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"We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation," Coca-Cola's statement, written by Chairman and CEO James Quincey, read. "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."
"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.," Quincey concluded.
Surry County commissioners, who are all Republican, voted last month to remove the vending machines, but Winston-Salem, N.C. television station WXII reported they have yet to be taken out.
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Eddie Harris, one of Surry County's commissioners, told WXII in a video interview that removing the vending machines was a way for the county to stand against "cancel culture."
"The left-wing in America, they defund, they boycott, they cancel, they tear down statues—all sorts of egregious actions," Harris said. "The expectation from them is the opposing political side will cower in the corner and we're supposed to accept that and it's supposed to be OK. And it's not OK."
"We are trying to cancel Coca-Cola," he said. "To use their tactics against them."
Georgia lawmakers signed new voting laws into effect in March, requiring voter IDs for absentee ballots, allowing fewer ballot drop boxes and criminalizing bringing food and water to voters waiting in line, among other restrictions.
According to, groups were threatening boycotts of major corporations that had previously supported the bill's sponsors, one of those being Coca-Cola.
North Carolina county bans Coke machines over company's criticism of Georgia voting law
Officials in Surry County, N.C., have approved a measure mandating the removal of all Coca-Cola machines from government facilities after the company's stated opposition to an election law passed in Georgia. In a letter written to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey and obtained by NBC News, Surry County Commissioner Ed Harris called Quincey's critical comments regarding the Georgia election bill "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.
New Georgia Project Action Fund CEO Nsé Ufot toldin March that companies like "Delta, Coca-Cola, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's praise of this bill is a betrayal. It shows they are ready to dismantle the freedom to vote alongside the Republican lawmakers they so willingly support."
Coca-Cola then told Newsweek that they had already been working to express their concerns and advocate for "positive change in voting legislation."
According to WXII, a spokesman for Coca-Cola Consolidated, a bottling company separate from Coca-Cola, said that the company has reached out to Surry County officials in hopes of setting up a meeting with commissioners to work out their recent decision to ban.
Newsweek has reached out to Harris for comment.
North Carolina country reverses course, ends coke machine ban .
A county in North Carolina has reversed its decision in May to ban coke machines from county property, a move made in response to criticism by the company's CEO of the new voting law in Georgia signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.County commissioners in Surry County had voted to take 12 coke machines off its property, but faced a backlash after it became known that the machines in the county building were owned by an independent bottling company, Coca-Cola Consolidated, the Charlotte Observer reported. That company complained, saying the move by county commissioners would end up hurting the local firm and its employees.