Politics United joins Delta in Criticizing Election Reform That 'Infringes on the Right to Vote'
Activists pressure Atlanta-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta to take action against Georgia voting law
Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot all gave statements in support of voting rights, but critics say they didn't do enough to address the specific bill.The SB 202 bill makes changes to nearly all aspects of voting and elections in the state, Grace Panetta reported for Insider. The most controversial aspects of the new law include a ban on volunteers giving water and snacks to voters waiting in line, more stringent voter ID laws for absentee ballots, and "ballot selfies" are banned.
All four major airlines have now criticized recent election reforms afterjoined Delta's efforts on Monday.
"Our mission is to connect people and unite the world. We believe that one of the most effective ways to do this is to engage in the democratic process, which begins with voting—a vital civic duty," United said in a statement. "America's democracy is stronger when we're all engaged, and every vote is properly counted."
Delta now opposes Ga. elections bill as activists ramp up pressure on corporations
Delta Air Lines' CEO reversed the company's stance on Georgia's new election bill as activists' effort targeting corporations over the bill ramps up. "After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong," CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo sent to all Delta employees worldwide.
"Some have questioned the integrity of the nation's election system and are using it to justify stricter voting procedures, even though numerous studies have found zero credible evidence of widespread fraud in U.S. elections. Legislation that infringes on the right to vote of fellow Americans is wrong," the statement reads. "We believe that leaders in both parties should work to protect the rights of eligible voters by making it easier and more convenient for them to cast a ballot and have it counted."
Delta, Atlanta's hometown airline and one of the largest companies in Georgia, was the first airline to come out in strong opposition of the state's new controversial election bill, which was championed by stateand signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp last month.
Corporate America Is Suddenly Concerned About Georgia’s Voter-Suppression Law
Voting-rights activists are making it clear companies can’t sit on the fence without repercussions.“After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong,” CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo sent to all Delta employees worldwide.
In a memo to employees, Delta CEO Ed Bastian blasted the law, saying it is "unacceptable and does not match Delta's values."
"After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it's evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong," the memo read.
In an earlier memo, Bastian had praised the legislation—a move that garnered immense backlash and calls to boycott the airline. However, the CEO switched his position after the bill was signed into law.
Learning from Delta,quickly issued a statement opposing such election reform measures in Texas right before legislation—that voting rights advocates have said will make it harder for people to vote—passed. Southwest Airlines also followed suit shortly after.
Delta CEO calls Georgia voting law 'unacceptable' following calls for boycott
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Wednesday called Georgia's controversial voting law "unacceptable" in what appears to be a reversal of the company's previous position.In a memo to employees that the company made public, Bastian said that Delta worked with other Atlanta-based corporations to try to remove "some of the most egregious measures" from S.B. 202, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law on Thursday.Bastian had faced backlash after he appeared to defend the law, which among other restrictions limits the use of ballot drop boxes, requires photo ID for absentee voting and makes it a crime to provide food and water to those waiting in line
In an overnight vote last week, the Republican-led Texasadvanced a bill that would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-through voting and ban local election officials from proactively sending absentee ballots to eligible voters.
"To make American's stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it," American Airlines, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a statement. "As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote."
Southwest, which is also based in Texas, echoed those sentiments in an email sent to Forbes.
"The right to vote is foundational to our democracy and a right coveted by all. We believe every voter should have a fair opportunity to let their voice be heard. This right is essential to our nation's success," the airline wrote.
With United's Monday statement, all four major airlines have now opposed the sweeping election reforms being spearheaded by GOP officials.
GOP Georgia state legislators try to punish Delta after elections bill criticism
Georgia Republicans on Wednesday took a last-minute swipe at Delta Airlines after the company's chief executive criticized a massive measure overhauling voting rules in a state that narrowly voted for President Biden in 2020.In the waning hours of the legislative session, the Georgia state House passed a bill to repeal a tax break on jet fuel, aimed squarely at one of the state's largest companies and the largest operator of flights into and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
On Friday, Kemp criticized the companies that have spoken out against the new voting laws, saying they "caved to the cancel culture."
Earlier, the governor called out Bastian's remarks, saying the memo "stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists."
Newsweek reached out to Kemp's office for further comment but did not hear back before publication.
Why some Democrats are quietly unhappy with the House’s big voting rights bill .
There’s a debate over whether some of the For the People Act’s provisions are misconceived.Known as HR 1 in the House, where it passed in early March with only a single Democratic defection, and S 1 in the Senate, where it’s co-sponsored by every Democrat except West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it’s a bill that Democrats and allied outside advocates argue is urgently necessary to save the country not only from voter suppression, but also from gerrymandering and the malign influences of big and dark money in politics.