Expensify's CEO emailed users to encourage them to 'vote for Biden'

Expensify CEO David Barrett blasted all of his customers with a message to vote for Biden to "protect democracy."

In the email, which the company has said was sent to all users, Expensify's founder said that "anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy" and urged his customer base to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. He equated a vote for Trump as an endorsement for voter suppression, and took issue with people who may want to abstain or vote for a third-party candidate: "I'm saying a vote for Trump, a vote for a third-party candidate, or simply not voting at all — they're all the same, and they all mean: 'I care more about my favorite issue than democracy. I believe Trump winning is more important than democracy. I am comfortable standing aside and allowing democracy to be methodically dismantled, in plain sight,'" he wrote in the email.

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Barrett also said he wasn't afraid of his company taking a political stance, even at a time when some tech companies are arguing that it's better to remain neutral or apolitical. "Expensify depends on a functioning society and economy; not many expense reports get filed during a civil war," he wrote. "As CEO of this business, it's my job to plot a course through any storm — and all evidence suggests that another four (or as Trump has hinted — eight, or more?) years of Trump leadership will damage our democracy to such an extent, I'm obligated on behalf of shareholders to take any action I can to avoid it."

Some recipients were already showing anger at the email, tweeting that it was "incredibly disappointing" and that Expensify has "lost my business."

In a conversation with Protocol, Barrett said he and a team of volunteers were responding to customers' concerns.

Update: This post was updated at 8:30 p.m. PT with a comment from Expensify.