Apple's Tim Cook joins chorus of critics against Georgia's voting restrictions

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(Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Thursday was the latest corporate leader to speak out against the state of Georgia's new voting restrictions, which many critics say targets Blacks and other racial minorities.

"American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and Black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right," Cook said in a statement.

The Republican-backed Georgia law strengthened identification requirements for absentee ballots, shortened early voting periods for runoffs and made it a misdemeanor for members of the public to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.

"Apple believes that, thanks in part to the power of technology, it ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote," Cook said.

The measure, which has also been slammed by Democratic President Joe Biden, faces legal challenges from civil rights groups that contend it is aimed at suppressing voting among Blacks and other racial minorities.

On Wednesday, major U.S. companies led a charge to challenge the law, with several executives making statements against voting restrictions.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)