Delta Tells Employees They Were Part Of Crafting Georgia Voting Restrictions Bill

In an internal communication with employees, Delta Air Lines took credit for helping to shape the new voting restriction bill passed last week in their home state of Georgia that President Biden called “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

In a state that was ground zero for the dispute over ballots in the 2020 Presidential election, and then determined control of the Senate, provisions that have gotten the most attention include new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots and a rule against providing water or snacks to people waiting in long lines to vote.

Delta says they played a central role in the development of the legislation, with their “state government affairs team..heavily negaged on this issue, holding meetings with state elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to make sure the Delta voice was well represented and heard.”

In a statement attributed to CEO Ed Bastian, the airline says that the legislation “improved considerably” during this process and actually increases access to balloting, “[n]onetheless, we understand concerns remain..”

There have already been discussions about moving baseball’s All Star Game out of Atlanta. But now #BoycottDelta is trending.

It would take real investigative work to suss out Delta’s role in the legislation. If you read what they’ve written they didn’t exactly praise the bill. They said it’s better than it was, they give a nod towards more voting not less, and yet “understand concerns remain.” This sounds like on net they favor it but they do not actually say so.

What on earth Delta is sticking itself in the middle of this issue for is beyond me, though they have a history of injecting themselves into hot button political issues.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Commenters here are talking mostly about the need to present official ID. If that was all it was about then I would have little to say. However….

    Changes to the voting laws make it harder for Georgians to vote and register, and easier for fringe groups to challenge their registration. It criminalizes “line-warming” or offering food and water to individuals waiting to vote, a practice that has become popular as the Georgia GOP has dramatically reduced the number of polling places over the past 10 years, increasing the amount of time voters — especially voters in mostly black precincts — must wait in line to cast their ballot.

    The new law also allows for unlimited challenges to a voter’s registration — a tactic that has been used to racially profile voters, intimidate them from voting, or knock them off the voter rolls completely.

    The law also bans third-party groups from sending absentee-ballot applications to voters, and ends the use of portable polling sites.

    The new law basically codifies Trump’s grievances against Republican officials in the state who resisted his efforts to overturn the election there. The new law strips the secretary of state, Georgia’s top elections official, of his seat and his role as chair of the state election board, and endows the state legislature with the power to fill three of that board’s five seats — essentially giving the legislature control over the certification of elections and voting rules in the state.

    The new law also empowers the state election board to suspend or replace local election officials and delay certification, making it potentially easier for them to meddle with results.

  2. My family and I travel quite frequently on Delta. I have always prided the on fair, clean travel. Why get involved in voting regulations which are clearly a political opportunity for less people to be able to vote and to actually deny someone water in a heated climate – no pun intended.
    Delta stick to safe flying and treating employees fairly and passengers as well

  3. Good for Delta… while I don’t think any corporation should get involved in legislation and I think it is even dumber to send a message to all employees (which will easily make it into the public eye), it’s good to see common sense irrespective of the noise out there. I’m regularly offended when I’m not asked for an ID at the polls and I can’t imagine anything more un-American than not taking voting seriously enough to ask for identification. Further, mail-ins should always be upon request and should require validation (see Baker/Carter research). Mail-in in the least secure of all forms of voting. I have no idea what the food/water thing is about… keep in mind that law applies to “less than” 150 feet – that’s 30 yards in line. Please people… use your common sense. The most important thing we have in this country is our vote and we can’t keep going down this road where at least half of the citizens think it’s rigged (check the research).

  4. Delta should have been fighting these heinous voting rights restrictions as hard as possible. WTF is going on at this company? Are they all really hood-wearing KKK members (aka today’s GQP)? Would love to see how they try to get past this PR disaster. JFC!

  5. “we can’t keep going down this road where at least half of the citizens think it’s rigged”

    Legislation won’t fix stupid.

  6. I am astonished and very disappointed that Delta would involve itself in such discriminatory action. As a Platinum Medallion frequent flyer and a Delta stock holder I am going to have to rethink my loyalty. Even my most strident republican friends are astonished at the restriction of water or snacks being made available to voters.
    I live in a gated community in Georgia and have waited more than 10 minutes to vote, a true example of wealthy, white privilege. We need a national directive on voting allowing all people to have the same access. Why should anyone have to wait 6 or 7 hours in order to cast their vote.

  7. “Delta Tells Employees They Were Part Of Crafting Georgia Voting Restrictions Bill”

    The only “they” in the above headline are the employees. Delta is an “it”, not a “they”. So I assume the intent is to suggest that Delta employees were part of the crafting of the Georgia Bill.

    Do you have any editors that understand the rules of grammar?

  8. @Rob

    This legislation is about defending voters rights by stopping fraud.

    Good on delta for supporting this. IT needed to pass and on a national level as well.

    @Rosaleen Regan

    “white privelege” is a term coined by people who suffer from success envy. This piece of legislation isn’t discriminatory.

    @Pete

    You buy into the false narrative.

  9. @Joe — This law is an effort by Republicans to make it harder for people to vote, The law puts restrictions on the use of absentee and mail-in ballots, and criminalizes giving food or water to voters in line at poll sites. It’s a heinous piece of legislation. There was little to no fraud in the 2020 election. Delta CEO has already walked back their support after further reading of the bill. Repubs can’t win without lying, cheating and gerrymandering. What disgusting people.

  10. Most people have strong opinions on this new legislation without actually reading it. The Fox News listeners are told it is solid law and the CNN team are told how evil it is.
    Bottom line is the legislatures are elected by the citizens of Georgia and they have the right to create laws they deem necessary. If the citizens are against this legislation then they can vote in new politicians (kinda like Biden just replaced Trump).
    Regardless, companies like Delta should stick to improving their airline and stay out of politics. For every Delta Frequent Flyer who wants to boycott, there is another who is happy.

  11. I think you’re making a terrible political decision by supporting moving the Atlanta All-Star game and boycotting Georgia’s new election laws, even though supposedly you were heavily involved in the process. Why have you lost your political courage at the last minute and decided not to support it when you help craft it? I actually think the long cleans up a lot of things that is a sensor improvement over the system that the state had. Simply put, the duly elected legislature of Georgia has to right under the constitution to make their own laws. All states have voting laws. The primary laws that are created under this new action are that everyone has to have an ID. Persons must have ID’s to drive, get on your airplanes to travel, to purchase tickets and other items to verify their identities. Also mail-in ballot should be reserved for those people that are either out of the state during the election, in the military or are over 65 or have severe health problems, it’s been that way for years. Universal mail in balloting is too difficult to count by election day, shear volume creates counting and verification issues, has too many flaws and leaves the system open for voting fraud. There should not be uniform mail-in voting. Also this concept of water being passed out. Those that are working the election may still continue to pass out water that has always been the law. What Georgia is trying to prohibit is the use of water as an electioneering tactic with candidate or issue insignia on water bottles and also with candidates trying to curry attention and favor from people by giving them free water or other free items such as food or soft drinks or candy etc. With longer cycles of early voting, expanded size of county voting centers there is not a need for long lines and a great need of water while one votes. As a result of your political actions I will not be watching the major league baseball all-star game in July or flying on Delta Airlines. As an 65-year-old person I have rarely missed this great American summer display of the most talented players in the game. Stick to flying airplanes and stay out of election politics.

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