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, 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. Great! 13 months since a Delta flight. I’m baaack. Just booked! Bastian was too liberal for me as a million miler and Platinum member. All is forgiven

  2. Knocking off a couple teeth on a saw meant to sever people from their right to vote isn’t a win! I’m aghast at the recklessness of this effort by Delta. Not just the PR clumsiness, but the actual, behind the scenes lobbying.

    The *only* valid choice of a company that — until now — I really believed was sincere in wanting to shift corporate culture and was making progress towards inclusion and diversity would have been to try to derail this bill.

    The lack of black senior leadership at Delta really, really shows in how they approached their lobbying role. This is the sort of thing that may well cut me loose from Skymiles, when I’ve been Platinum for several years and over halfway to Million Miler.

  3. In other news Delta is drawing lines across its cabins. When the “right people” board those sitting in the front section will have to give up their seats and move to the rear of the plane.

    Anyway my letter to didn’t bounce so hopefully they got the message that I’m taking my business elsewhere. I backed it up with a complaint form.

  4. Dear Gene: The Democrats in the Senate way back in the year 2020 filibustered Senator Tim Scott’s bipartisan police reform bill. It does not take much looking to find racists everywhere!! But you are entitled to your own biased opinion.

  5. Lifetime Gold w 3 million miles on DL. Will continue to fly them although live in a AA hub so that gets most of my business.

    Frankly, I have no problem with what Delta may have done or said. Companies have the right to do what they feel is best. All these campaigns to boycott DL or Coke (BTW, MLK Jr’s daughter said that was a horrible idea that would hurt lots of lower class people, mainly minorities) is dumb. Of course any group can decide not to buy a product but others will step in and support them. At the end of the day the only people that get hurt are those boycotting something they otherwise would have purchased.

    BTW – did you see some groups are calling on golfers to boycott the Masters? Yeah like that will go over well. Augusta one year terminated all TV commercials instead of admitting a woman member (they have since brought in women) and NO golfer is Woke, certainly not enough to avoid playing in the top tournament of the year. Also, anyone with a brain knows that golfers, overall, are around 90% Republican and given their demographic (mainly white and very wealthy from upper class backgrounds) don’t expect a lot of support.

  6. Am not really into politics but is there a news outlet that compares GA’s new voting laws with other states’ voting laws? All I hear from left-leaning media is how GA just passed modern Jim Crow laws.

  7. The fact that a corporation, ANY corporation can inject their biases into a political decision ANY political decision, usurps the rights of individual citizens and bodes badly for our democracy. Nobody, except Georgia shareholders of Delta, elected them to intervene in this matter.
    However, we have already seen how lowly Trumpicans hold the values of our nation. And, Governor Kemp is clearly scared to death of Stacey Abrams and is willing to throw our democracy under the proverbial bus to remain in power.

  8. “Voting Restrictions” – Is that what you call correcting the 2020 fraud-frenzy free for all?

  9. Prior: Show up anytime prior to voting,, don’t prove who you are, cast your vote, vanish. Now: Get a life.

  10. Rarely rarely flew on Bastian Airline. This decision will make it never (even if means flying Spirit).

  11. Oh well, more upgrades for me!

    Only in America is it controversial for voters to have to prove who they are before voting, or to not have three month long periods by which to vote.

    Half of this cancel culture is because of the powerful cultural left-wing’s ability to institute economic boycotts against anyone who doesn’t support their agenda. Once corporate America stops giving in to their demands (unlikely in the near future) this ridiculous behavior will hopefully subside.

  12. I was just about to pull the trigger on my first Delta flight since January 2020 LGA/ATL/LGA. Since I’m not hostage to Delta, I’ll fly AA or Southwest. #Don’tGetMad-GetEven.

  13. @ Joe — In case you weren’t paying attention, Donald Trump is a pathological liar. There was no fraud. Why did Trump do worse than Congress on average? Beacuse he was the worst President in history and a repulsive human being, not because of some imaginary fraud.

  14. Delta best stay out of politics, unless it is on a matter pertinent to their industry. I often have been disappointed in their political positions. Despite that, I have stuck with Delta, because it is a good airline. Although I agree with Delta on their position for Georgia voting reform, it really isn’t my business as I don’t live in Georgia. For all those who boycott Delta, go ahead and fly American Airlines or United Airlines.

  15. Delta taking credit for partially crafting Georgia’s voting restrictions Bill…….

    Looks like food and water service on upcoming Delta flights will be out of the question.

  16. When will companies learn to stop involving themselves in politics? I would not be surprised to see them lose some gates over this, especially internationally where people are less tolerant of fascists than the US south.

  17. @Joe
    @henry L

    So many commenters who seem to know it all, but lack the most basic understanding of Georgia voter laws. But, that is the modus-operandi of the Trumpicans. Comment where you know little and demonstrate how ignorant you really are. Either Lincoln or Twain said “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” Well, they decided to remove all doubt.
    I am a Georgia voter. I had to prove my residency and show my drivers license when I showed up to vote. Even before this draconian law, one had to clearly prove who they were and their residency to vote. So, Trumpicans, please STFU.

  18. @Wileydog – Make me. I’ll say what I please and what are you going to do about it? The law is passed. Let’s see if they can steal the election again when Trump runs in 2024.

  19. Sorry, I should have included “shit face”, ‘er I mean “jack shit” on my post, because he/she/it clearly doesn’t know “jack shit” about Georgia voting laws.

  20. @Joe

    Ouch, that really hurt. You have such a way with the vocabulary. You know, there are 2nd Amendment Democrats and Independents who will not let you and your ilk destroy our Democratic Republic just so you can lick the boots of this “billionaire”. In any case, he will hopefully be in jail in 2024.

    What does boot-black taste like? You seem to have plenty of it on your tongue.

  21. I have a feeling Delta is trying to get ahead of news that they crafted part of this legislation. So they’d rather say they improved it rather have it come out that they took part in this.

  22. @Wiley Dog – you are hopelessly outmatched by me in a game of wits, you piteous catamite. We all know that the ancient cheater is not the real president, but we will rid ourselves of him and his prostitute “Vice President” soon enough. Now to hit a “home run” as they call it in the American game of bases balls, I would ask you what the inside of one of Biden’s soiled diapers tastes like, since you love to have that sort of thing in your mouth?

  23. @Joe
    Thank you for providing additional details. of your delusional state. It’s a good thing the Georgia legislature did not add a sobriety, literacy or intelligence test to their voter-suppression law.
    If there was vote fraud or manipulation, ALL the evidence points to the Trumpicans as the culprits. How else could all the polls have been so wrong? Oh yeah, perhaps Faux “News” hasn’t told you about Sidney Powell’s defense. LOL!!!
    But, you failed to answer my question: How does the boot-black from a so-called “billionaire” taste?

  24. It’s laudable that Bastian took time out from begging for more government handouts to lend his wisdom and guidance to this important issue.

  25. I will be in my usual 2A once they begin serving coca-cola on board again..

  26. Anyone who supports mail in ballots and supports no ID for voting supports election fraud. They should be honest they want high population majority black cities to dump in hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots because the public is not allowed to scrutinize blacks. We need ID to get a library card, to open a bank account, to buy cigarettes, to buy beer, to enter university, to get a hotel room, but ID is too much for something as important as voting. The argument those who are against voter ID make is that blacks are too stupid to get an ID. They are saying blacks don’t smoke/fly/get library cards/go to hotels/buy beer. What they really mean is they like fraud and are comfortable with using blacks to hide behind when slipping in fraudulent ballots.

  27. I believe that every legal citizen of the United States has the right and obligation to vote.

    I also believe that every reasonable attempt to secure the integrity of the election process should be made so that all people have trust in the system, regardless of the electoral outcome. Sometimes, your candidate wins and sometimes not, but it’s important that the public think the process is fair.

    I cannot take a flight or check into a hotel without showing a picture ID and I cannot cash a check or buy beer at Walmart without showing it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have to show a picture ID in order to cast a ballot.

  28. This is a disaster for Delta. This law allows partisan politicians to overrule election results. It’s anti-democracy. People are horrified Delta supported this.

  29. @Joe and @Jackson Waterson are clearly the two most imbecilic posters on any site anywhere. Not sure about Jackson, but we know Joe has spent too much time in momma’s bed and now needs to get out, dry off his micro-mushroom, and put some clothes on. Then it ‘s time to sweep out the trailer.

  30. You’d think being a writer would mean you’d have some sense of reading comprehension, but I guess that’s not always the case. The internal memo starts by saying, unequivocally, that Delta is in favor of the “fundamental right” to vote, and believes in free and fair elections, and highlighted the importance of broad voter participation and equal access to the polls. And ended the statement by saying that concerns remain about the legislation and they will continue to work towards protecting the right of all Georgians to vote. Between the two rebukes they sandwiched in the fact that the final bill included *some* positive provisions, as it wasn’t as egregious as the original text. How the writer can take all of that and come to the conclusion that “…on net they favor [the law]…” is beyond me. It’s like people expect Delta Air Lines to come out with a scathing takedown of the GA state GOP, burn all bridges with the leaders who run the state gov., and anything less means they must be complicit and need to be cancelled. Both ends of the political spectrum are living in fantasy worlds, and until we snap out of it and come back to some semblance of reality, we’re gonna be seriously fucked.

  31. Damn Gary, you really opened up a can here.

    My 2 cents is that voter ID is reasonable, and all the Jim Crow talk just takes away the credibility of the opposition. I’d love to here a fact based debate on the issue. Naturally, given the state of our union this is impossible right now. And that’s the saddest part of all.

  32. Ed Bastian should be sacked for sticking his nose in to Georgia state politics on behalf of Delta. If he is so interested he should run for office instead of being paid to run Delta. One or the other dude! Of course getting elected could be hard work, whereas getting the top job at Delta only requires a bit of shmoozing with like-minded good ol’ boys over cocktails and a few long lunches.

  33. Major US corporations face historical risk to their reputation by doing anything that comes across as supporting the Trumpublicans’ system-rigging, anti-democratic shenanigans.

  34. My 2 cents is that voter ID is reasonable, and all the Jim Crow talk just takes away the credibility of the opposition. I’d love to here a fact based debate on the issue. Naturally, given the state of our union this is impossible right now. And that’s the saddest part of all.


    How would your position on the issue evolve if, say, during this fact-based debate, the facts presented supported at most on-the-order-of 100 or fewer credible/prosecutable instances of fraudulent ballots in an election in which 150M+ Americans participated? Because that is what the facts will bear out. Where from, then, is the massive drop in public confidence in the election process coming? Certainly not from facts.

  35. Jackson, go back to your clownish KKKlan buddies for more of that racist propaganda you love to spread here and elsewhere. Those KKK types are your fellow travelers in racism.

  36. @Tim
    You want facts? Here they are.
    1. We ALL support fair and legal votes by legal voters.
    2. I have a condo in Savannah and vote in Georgia.
    3. To register to vote, I had to prove who I was and where I lived.
    5. If one does not have a drivers license, one needs another type of ID.
    6. Kemp has closed many of the places where people without a drivers license can get that ID,
    forcing them to travel many miles to get one. Remember, they DON’T own a car.
    7; The only known case of voter fraud here in Georgia was a Trump voter, voting twice. He was
    These new laws are NOT intended to secure an election, they are intended to keep certain people from voting.
    Remember, it was Trump who told his supporters to cheat and that the only “fair” election was the one that he won.
    ‘Nuff said, I’m done. Bye.

  37. “Voter Restrictions Bill”… Really? Showing ID to vote seems pretty basic to me, and any effort to undermine that is cause for concern.

  38. WileyDog,

    The biggest voter fraud with regard to the 2020 election was then-President Trump trying to rig the outcome of the vote counts after the votes had already been submitted and counted. It is treasonous behavior for a government official in the US to try to illegally rig US elections and it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately, any such trial of the Traitor Trump for his massive voter fraud effort would be at risk of a hung jury/mistrial in court because of Lord Trump worshippers and his crypto supporters doing whatever it takes to oppose the constitutional order of the US.

  39. Excuse me, I haven’t seen anyone trying to allow voting without ID. Last time I checked, you have to have an ID to register to vote. The people above suggesting such a thing are liars just like their fraud of a leader.

  40. Trump supporters being big fans of more restrictive voter ID requirements but largely silent about Trump’s massive voter fraud effort after the 2020 election votes had been cast is worse than the kettle calling the pot black; it’s more akin to proclaiming that rape is part of the natural order of the word but consenting human adults should have their sex lives and bodies regulated by the “silent majority” who think of themselves superior as “God’s people”.

  41. WOW – what a twisted can of worms this article is. Again throw out terms as The bumbling and stumbling Biden as I’m Crow” that the Democrats used to craft and let people think that actual removing dead people from the voting rolls is racist, Can we at least say there are some very good things in this bill along with maybe not do good?

  42. In New York, you sign your name alongside a copy of your name. If they match, I get to vote. We don’t have to show I.D.

    Editorial comment… take that Georgia. Problem solved.

  43. @Gene is a wrong. I live in Virginia and the General Assembly passed a law (that was signed by Governor Northam) removed the voter ID requirement in 2020. Also, the requirement for an “excuse” to absentee vote was removed. Georgia’s law is absolutely racist and Governor Kemp is Jim Crow in a suit.

  44. 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.

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