0 min left

Delta Faces Calls for Boycott Over Georgia’s Controversial Voting Bill

The term #BoycottDelta was trending on social media, after comments by the airline’s chief executive Ed Bastian appeared to praise Georgia’s controversial new voting regulations. A memo attributed to the leader says the bill “improved considerably” before it was passed by state legislators.

Delta Air Lines is fighting back against a growing call to boycott the carrier, after comments attributed to airline chief executive Ed Bastian appeared to praise Georgia’s passing of Senate Bill 202. The memo was published by Delta on March 26, 2021, which quoted Bastian as saying the law “improved considerably” as it moved through the legislative process.

Demands to Boycott Delta After Bastian Points Out “Positives” of Voting Overhaul

The comments were made in an internal memo to Delta’s employees after Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 into law. According to CNN, the bill would create new identification demands on absentee ballots, while limiting the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots across the state.

In the original statement, Bastian is quoted as saying the airline “engaged extensively with state elected officials in both parties to express our strong view that Georgia must have a fair and secure election process.” Although opponents of the bill say it will create an undue burden on voters in minority and underserved communities, the memo points out some of the law’s positive features.

“The legislation signed this week improved considerably during the legislative process and expands weekend voting, codifies Sunday voting and protects a voter’s ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason,” the memo reads. “Nonetheless, we understand concerns remain over other provisions in legislation and there continues to be work ahead in this important effort.”

In additional comments to employees, Skift reports Bastian didn’t walk away from his opinions. Instead, he focused on the fact taking a different position could have created more problems for the airline.

“I know that many of you are disappointed, frustrated, and angry that we did not take a stronger public stand against specific measures in this bill,” said Bastian, according to Skift. “Unfortunately, the reality is that would have made it much harder to shape the legislation at all, and we would have lost a seat at the table.”

Voices calling for a boycott of Delta and other Georgia-based companies include the progressive political group MediasTouch.com and Keith Olbermann. The hashtag #BoycottDelta continues to get hundreds of tweets per hour, with the airline facing serious backlash for their position.

Delta One of Many Georgia-Based Companies Facing Boycott Calls

It’s not just Delta that is facing the scorn of the public over Georgia’s Senate Bill 202. Activists are also calling on the public to boycott Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball, as the sports league is planning to hold their All-Star Game this year in Atlanta.

cairns April 6, 2021

mc4bbs voters have more opportunity to vote in Georgia than they do in NY or Delaware. Read the bill before spouting off.

ND Sol April 3, 2021

mc4bbs, clearly you did not read the bill as most of the items you list are just not true. How do you feel about the home state of our President and its voting rules?

mc4bbs April 2, 2021

Delta has changed their stance from a soft approval to a firm NO. Georgia retaliated by attempting to revoke their jet-fuel tax break, but failed. This is not so much getting identification from voters, but to systematically PREVENT persons of colour from voting at all by making it difficult. They do this by: - Making providing any food/beverage to people waiting in line to vote ILLEGAL. - Shutting down the number of polling sites in black communities (making lines unbearably long -- 4-8 hours waiting with no food/drink long!) - Curtailing the hours you can vote on the weekend, and a FULL ON ATTEMPT to stop Sunday voting (stopping pews to polls) - Curtailing the hours you can vote during the weekday. - Curtailing the number of days (if any) you can "vote early" - Curtailing voting by mail, attempting to stop it completely. These are only the ones I am aware of off the top of my head, but the list goes on. Between gerrymandering and voter suppression, the republicans are attempting to disenfranchise blacks, latinos and other non-white, non-rich people from voting and it needs to be STOPPED any way possible. Delta is once again on the side of RIGHT by speaking up; however, this isn't the first time Georgia has pulled shit like this. Delta, Coke, Home Depot and all other businesses need to EXIT GEORGIA for good!!

ND Sol April 2, 2021

ijgordon, so you are on board for using the same standard as the TSA for those that don't have their ID to vote? Note in the following, that in order to fly you must have an ID, you just don't have to have it on you. As such, you will be scrutinized and have to provide quite a bit of personal information (not to mention the full pat down). If you can't be verified, you can't fly. "In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property." "You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you choose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process." I recall the case a few years back in Pennsylvania where there was a lawsuit about the inability to obtain a photo ID. The judge ruled against the plaintiffs and before the attorneys could get an appeal started, the lead plaintiff went down and obtained her photo ID. Not as much a barrier as one might think. Also, are not photo IDs required to obtain the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2?

DeltaFlyer123 April 1, 2021

Ed Bastian has always been an upright, honest, responsible CEO. All he said is that the final draft of the bill was an improvement over the previous version. As Delta’s CEO, his primary responsibility is to the airline’s shareholders and customers, and not politics. I am a Delta 2-million miler, have been eminently satisfied with the company especially their response to the pandemic, and will always support Delta (and Skyteam).