Delta’s Georgia Voting Bill Disaster

Delta’s Georgia Voting Bill Disaster

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The state legislature in Georgia has voted to eliminate a jet fuel tax break for Delta, after the company’s leadership flip-flopped on Georgia’s recent voting bill. This situation is so messy on so many levels.

Georgia’s controversial new voting bill

Last week lawmakers in Georgia passed a voting bill, based on the premise that there was widespread voting fraud in the 2020 election. The new bill has been largely supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, with President Joe Biden calling the bill “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”

What are Democrats taking issue with? Among other things, the new voting bill makes it illegal to approach voters waiting in long lines to offer them food or water, and it allows unlimited challenges to a voter’s registration. On the plus side, the bill wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as it does protect being able to request an absentee ballot without justification, and it expands early in-person voting.

Here’s the thing, though — I don’t want to make this political beyond Delta’s part in this. Regardless of how you feel about the law, chances are that we can agree that the way Delta handled this situation was… not brilliant.

Delta publicly expressed support for the voting bill

Shortly after the Georgia voting bill was passed late last week, Delta released the following statement attributed to CEO Ed Bastian:

“Delta believes that full and equal access to voting is a fundamental right for all citizens. Over the past several weeks, Delta engaged extensively with state elected officials in both parties to express our strong view that Georgia must have a fair and secure election process, with broad voter participation and equal access to the polls.

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. For the first time, drop boxes have also been authorized for all counties statewide and poll workers will be allowed to work across county lines.

Nonetheless, we understand concerns remain over other provisions in the legislation, and there continues to be work ahead in this important effort. We are committed to continuing to listen to our people and our communities, and engage with leaders from both parties to ensure every eligible employee and Georgia voter can exercise their right to vote.”

Unlike some others, personally I didn’t view Delta’s statement as expressing unequivocal support for the bill, or suggesting it was the best thing ever. Delta’s stance was that the legislation “improved considerably during the legislative process,” noting that “concerns remain” and that “there continues to be work ahead in this important effort.”

At the same time, the airline didn’t publicly oppose the aspects of the bill that people found unacceptable. Delta got huge backlash for its stance, with many calling for a boycott of the airline.

Delta doubled down on its voting bill stance

After the backlash that Delta received, CEO Ed Bastian seemingly doubled down on his support of the bill. Employees expressed concern about the company’s stance, so Bastian released an internal video defending Delta’s position. His argument was that Delta was trying to help shape legislation behind the scenes rather than in the media.

He also stated that since the state legislature was Republican-controlled, there was no way the company would be able to completely prevent the bill from being passed. In other words, Delta knew the bill was going to pass, did what it could to improve it a bit, and figured there was no point in being publicly negative about it.

Then Delta backtracked on the bill

Delta got even more backlash after doubling down on its stance, and at that point the company issued a memo to employees, stating that the Georgia voting bill is “unacceptable” and “does not match” the company’s values.

Bastian also stated that “the entire rationale for the bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia.”

State legislature votes to strip Delta tax break

Yesterday Georgia’s House of Representatives voted to strip Delta of a tax break that it gets on jet fuel, which is worth tens of millions of dollars per year. This was done after Delta backtracked on the voting bill and condemned the government. I guess as it was viewed, if Delta didn’t support the state legislature, the state legislature wouldn’t support Delta.

However, ultimately this was only symbolic, since the State Senate didn’t take up the measure before adjourning its yearly session.

This is the second time that Delta has been in a situation like this — back in 2018 Delta ended its contract to provide discounted rates for group travel to the NRA. As a result, Republicans in Georgia voted to strip Delta of its tax break on jet fuel.

Bottom line

Regardless of how you feel about the Georgia voting bill, I think we can all agree that Delta didn’t exactly handle this optimally — the airline managed to annoy just about everyone, and there was even a vote to strip the airline of tens of millions of dollars worth of tax breaks on jet fuel (though that was ultimately only symbolic).

On the surface I can appreciate where Delta was originally coming from — the airline didn’t think it would be able to squash the bill altogether, so it tried to make it as not-bad as possible. The issue is that you can’t then put out a statement making it sound like the company generally supports the legislation, if that’s not the case. And then when you get backlash, it’s probably not smart to double down. And then when you get more backlash it’s probably not best to reverse your position.

Also, isn’t it a bit odd how involved corporations are in the crafting of bills about how individuals can vote? And for that matter, isn’t it also interesting how lawmakers only support low taxes for those who support their agenda?

I’m curious, does anyone not think Delta screwed up big time, at least with its messaging?

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  1. Craig Bachler

    Ed Bastian has been an amazing CEO for Delta, but he needs to focus on recovering service from COVID and not get in front of the headlines that will disenfranchise a segment of passengers. I for one want CEOs to focus on the company and not social responsibility.

  2. Paul

    Does Delta still fly to China, Israel, Russia, Etc? Do they put out a press release about elections in those countries??
    Pretty sure Delta flying people to those countries brings in Millions of dollars to those beacons of democracy.

  3. Tim Dunn

    And Delta is cancelling flights Easter Sunday because it doesn't have enough pilots - just as has been the case every holiday since Thanksgiving. They are up to 3% (75 flights) so far. Pilot chat forums say that Delta is suspending seat blocking in order to accommodate everyone.

    To say this has been an epic week of a corporate failure is an understatement.

  4. FrankieBoy Pangborn

    >>everystate bans giving out food and water to people in the voting line if they aren’t polls workers. ... new york has had such a law for 100 years.<<

    oh, gosh, i don't think so.

    the only other state that prohibits this is montana, but it's specifically for food and beverages given by a candidate, political party personnel or volunteers.

    in fact, no other state has such legislation.

    and in georgia, the law as...

    >>everystate bans giving out food and water to people in the voting line if they aren’t polls workers. ... new york has had such a law for 100 years.<<

    oh, gosh, i don't think so.

    the only other state that prohibits this is montana, but it's specifically for food and beverages given by a candidate, political party personnel or volunteers.

    in fact, no other state has such legislation.

    and in georgia, the law as now written forbids anybody, including friends or family, from bringing you a snack or a drink.

    it's truly remarkable the stuff people will state as facts, without checking to see if they are true. they presumably pick these fantastic tidbits up from popular disinformation "news" sources. don't they realize that most people walk around with a powerful supercomputer in their back pocket and can easily and quickly check the validity of these outlandish claims?

  5. Arie

    Wait what, Delta had tax breaks that helped it be more competitive? Next thing you'll try and tell me that delta and other US based airlines are getting billions in free money and tax breaks to help them stay competitive.

    Surely this cant be true? I mean it cant be that they complain about how other countries are always helping their own airlines and should stop. They wouldn't be hypocrites would they ?

  6. AC

    Everystate bans giving out food and water to people in the voting line if they aren't polls workers. It's prevent line warming/campaigning as voters go into the booth. There's nothing to see here. New York has had such a law for 100 years.

  7. Jon

    @UA- NYC yes in rare situations if you lost your ID, the TSA will give you a nice cavity search and verify your ID through other means. We don’t just let anyone walk on a plan with no idea who they are. I would guess 99.99% of people show an ID at TSA and you know it.

  8. UA-NYC

    @Jon - you don't have to actually have an ID to fly you know...just like voting.

    Somehow we don't have massive domestic terror incidents, just like we don't have domestic voter fraud.

  9. Jon

    Why is it ok for Delta to require ID to board their planes but not ok to ask for ID to vote?

    Why is it ok for Delta not to provide drink service on some flights but people must be served food and drink to wait in line to vote?

    Why doesn’t Delta offer special cancelation policies for minorities? They can’t be expected to follow the same rules as whites given their disadvantages.

    ...

    Why is it ok for Delta to require ID to board their planes but not ok to ask for ID to vote?

    Why is it ok for Delta not to provide drink service on some flights but people must be served food and drink to wait in line to vote?

    Why doesn’t Delta offer special cancelation policies for minorities? They can’t be expected to follow the same rules as whites given their disadvantages.

    Why doesn’t Delta offer affirmative action for the upgrade list? White males should always receive the middle seat in the last row of the plane next to two fat guys or Delta is racist.

  10. Timo

    Whatever edge Delta had amongst the legacy carriers pre-pandemic just evaporated. They will go back to their 2005 middle-road status. What a bunch of dolts.

  11. FrankieBoy Pangborn

    >>this issue is rampant in blue states like CA.<>illegals can vote in state and local elections here.<<

    you may be confused because *san francisco* allows non citizens to vote in local school board elections... that's it.

    do you have any actual evidence of widespread voter fraud in california, or any other state?

  12. Alan

    "over 200,000 georgia voters don't have a driver’s license or state ID number… "

    So these 200,000 Georgians are unable to fly and I assume apply for a number of govt benefits. Is there any law that prevents someone from assisting them to obtain an id? This should be a real concern even apart from voting. Or like most things in America no one even cares unless it's election time and they want your vote.

  13. INS Vikrant

    Agree Delta should keep hush. There may not have been widespread voter fraud in GA but this issue is rampant in blue states like CA.

    Gavin Newsom stays in power by a votebank of illegals in SF and LA. Illegals can vote in state and local elections here. And they do sway the politics blue. Part of the reason why the democrats want an open border.

  14. FrankieBoy Pangborn

    >>read the actual bill – i do not believe it is racist. If I’m wrong show me a clause that proves me wrong.<<

    you're wrong and i've read the 98 page bill. (all of it.)

    you won't often find voter suppression tactics explicitly stated in a bill... it's more about what's not stated or considered. sure, these measures *seem* reasonable, but they're not! and they are specifically targeting people of color, young, disabled, native american...

    >>read the actual bill – i do not believe it is racist. If I’m wrong show me a clause that proves me wrong.<<

    you're wrong and i've read the 98 page bill. (all of it.)

    you won't often find voter suppression tactics explicitly stated in a bill... it's more about what's not stated or considered. sure, these measures *seem* reasonable, but they're not! and they are specifically targeting people of color, young, disabled, native american and poor voters with absentee ID requirements, provisional ballot invalidations and drop box limits.

    over 200,000 georgia voters don't have a driver’s license or state ID number... not because they are "illegal" or dead, but because there are barriers to access... which many lawmakers don't consider barriers to access simply because they haven't experienced those same barriers to access themselves in their life of privilege. the bill limits access to voting in ways and at times that the targeted groups find most convenient... not everybody can take a day off to vote and stand in line for eight hours, for example.

    there's also a reduction in early voting time for runoff elections (by two thirds) and the stipulation that drop off boxes must be located *within* early voting locations... which nullifies their intent and usefulness (unless the intent is to deprive the targeted groups from voting). and drop boxes will be removed four days before an election, exactly the time you need them, since mail-in voting is no longer practical at that time.

    and, of course, the bill allows for the state election board to override county election boards and overturn results, for any reason it deems necessary, like, i dunno, in case maybe a black man or a jew gets elected.

  15. John

    Hey, Delta! Stick to flying planes, making sure those little packets of pretzels are fresh and that my luggage doesn't end up in Timbuktu. Leave politics to the peoples' elected representatives. Is that too much to ask?

  16. Alan

    @JvdB

    I'm so glad Lucky has not gone completely woke and banned those who disagree. It is refreshing to see points of view that differ. Just because Forbes publishes it does not make it true. Read the actual bill - I do not believe it is racist. If I'm wrong show me a clause that proves me wrong.

  17. FrankieBoy Pangborn

    >>if you had to work under someone in a true business, your error would get a letter in your employment file as unsatisfactory behavior<<

    doubtful.

    employees don't get reprimanded for "unsatisfactory behavior." any note of reprimand that gets added to their file must be related to a specific and observable performance defect. which performance defect did lucky demonstrate?

    "highlighting erroneous talking points?"

    you'd have to go the company's employee handbook to see if that...

    >>if you had to work under someone in a true business, your error would get a letter in your employment file as unsatisfactory behavior<<

    doubtful.

    employees don't get reprimanded for "unsatisfactory behavior." any note of reprimand that gets added to their file must be related to a specific and observable performance defect. which performance defect did lucky demonstrate?

    "highlighting erroneous talking points?"

    you'd have to go the company's employee handbook to see if that was something that was forbidden. and assuming it was (in actuality, it wouldn't be), then you'd likely be asked to prove that the statements were erroneous. and when you couldn't prove that (because they're not), you'd likely be given an oral warning about making false accusations and a lecture about how retaliation would not be tolerated.

  18. Greg S

    @Bob

    Lucky doesn’t have to worry about letters in his employment file because he started his own business. Please elaborate on exactly how your place of employment is a more of a true business than the one Lucky has built here from scratch.

  19. Bob

    Lucky
    Why did you choose to highlight erroneous talking points instead of spending 15 minutes researching the actual law.

    If you had to work under someone in a true business, your error would get a letter in your employment file as unsatisfactory behavior

  20. Creditian

    Nobody cares.
    Only certain political nuts making it like a big thing.
    In reality, most Americans don't care.

  21. Sam A

    Private corporations should not get involved in public policy as a rule.

    But honestly requiring people to have ID to vote is fundamental in nearly every western country and it boggles the mind why that is such a big issue to require it in the US. It’s generally free to get some sort of ID to prove you are a citizen with the right to vote; why would that be opposed? People who are not citizens should not vote and it shouldn’t be so easy to game the system without ID.

  22. JvdB

    Ben, thanks for this post. Here is some background for those who are interested. This bill is the latest one in a long ugly series of voter suppression laws targeting people of color

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/03/26/stacey-abrams-founded-group-sues-georgia-over-voter-suppression-bill/?sh=5c09238f3d0a

  23. JW Rammiot

    There is no upside to corporations working on lobbying / politics / policy in the public.

    Perhaps moving DL HQ to SLC would make the most sense.

  24. Dealgrabber

    Lesson learned here is corporations should keep themselves out of politics. They should concentrate on doing business.

  25. Tory

    If the Georgia state legislature *really* wants to get back at Delta, all they need to do is authorize a second Atlanta airport... ;-)

  26. jm

    "Isn’t it a bit odd how involved corporations are in the crafting of bills about how individuals can vote? And for that matter, isn’t it also interesting how lawmakers only support low taxes for those who support their agenda?"

    Nothing odd at all. It's called "lobbying." Most corporations do it. This is a social issue, rather than addressing regulations or appropriations. Why should corporate citizens ignore or bury their heads in the sand when it...

    "Isn’t it a bit odd how involved corporations are in the crafting of bills about how individuals can vote? And for that matter, isn’t it also interesting how lawmakers only support low taxes for those who support their agenda?"

    Nothing odd at all. It's called "lobbying." Most corporations do it. This is a social issue, rather than addressing regulations or appropriations. Why should corporate citizens ignore or bury their heads in the sand when it comes to important social issues of relevance to their customers?

    As for the lawmakers...are you really surprised that tax breaks go to companies that curry favor with government officials?

  27. cargocult

    @Ole

    The bill specifically addresses the case of having to wait more than an hour to vote.

    From CNN.com:

    The law mandates that if precincts of a certain substantial size had lines of more than one hour in the previous general election, or did not complete voting by an hour after the official poll-closing time in that previous general election, county officials have to reduce the size of the precinct or get more poll workers,...

    @Ole

    The bill specifically addresses the case of having to wait more than an hour to vote.

    From CNN.com:

    The law mandates that if precincts of a certain substantial size had lines of more than one hour in the previous general election, or did not complete voting by an hour after the official poll-closing time in that previous general election, county officials have to reduce the size of the precinct or get more poll workers, voting equipment or both for the next election.

    How is this biased against blacks?

    I wonder how many of those who oppose voter identification regulations support vaccine passports.a

  28. dan

    One thing is certain both major parties will attempt to game the system to get more votes than the other guy. However they will unite to suppress third parties and their voters.

  29. Ole

    @S - bill is discriminatory because, rural voters (mostly white) don’t have to wait in line for hours to cast their vote. But urban voters (mostly blacks) have to.

    @ Hey_It's_That_Vaxx'd_Guy! - that helps as I am sure all cops who will be called by “concerned” citizens to report such “voter intimidation” will check the language of bill before arresting accused. Just like how they calmly arrest a black man or control protests against systemic racism

  30. Alan

    “the new voting bill makes it illegal to offer food or water to people waiting in long voting lines”

    But you can offer to give everyone $2000 checks if your candidates win. Of course once they do win you can immediately forget about your promise!

  31. Mary

    I really don't understand why Delta was even lobbying on this or had any position. They should be focusing on things that impact their business, not individual rights of employees. I think they messed up by having any position.

  32. FrankieBoy Pangborn

    >>cancel everyone and everything that doesn’t go with our (leftist) narrative” is absurd.<<

    leftist narrative?

    the main culprits of "cancel culture" have been the right wing; white conservatives invented cancel culture!

    ever hear of "the chicks?" (f.k.a. "the dixie chicks")

    what about colin kaepernick?

    does the name bill maher mean anything to you?

    how about kathy griffin?

    going back a bit further: how about the cancellation (literally) of the smothers brothers comedy hour? how...

    >>cancel everyone and everything that doesn’t go with our (leftist) narrative” is absurd.<<

    leftist narrative?

    the main culprits of "cancel culture" have been the right wing; white conservatives invented cancel culture!

    ever hear of "the chicks?" (f.k.a. "the dixie chicks")

    what about colin kaepernick?

    does the name bill maher mean anything to you?

    how about kathy griffin?

    going back a bit further: how about the cancellation (literally) of the smothers brothers comedy hour? how about wedding cakes for gay weddings? the salem witch trials? the civil war? jim crow laws?

    "leftist narrative?"

    open your eyes.

  33. NeilH

    Why does Delta, or any company, have a position about politics at all? I just don't get why any company (Delta, Coca Cola, Nike, etc) think it's a great idea to alienate 50% of their potential clients. Focus on the business that you're good at and make a great customer experience. Who cares what any corporation or 'super star' thinks about politics? Makes no sense to get involved!

  34. Dan

    I read somewhere that Coke threatened to leave Georgia if state officials and other high ups did not go to a dinner to honor MLKs Nobel Prize award. Apparently no one was going or reserving seats. But many business leaders and some in government were extremely worried the optics of the event being boycotted by white state leaders. They believed it was going to severely harm Georgia’s economic image as a place of bigotry if...

    I read somewhere that Coke threatened to leave Georgia if state officials and other high ups did not go to a dinner to honor MLKs Nobel Prize award. Apparently no one was going or reserving seats. But many business leaders and some in government were extremely worried the optics of the event being boycotted by white state leaders. They believed it was going to severely harm Georgia’s economic image as a place of bigotry if state officials were boycotting a black mans Nobel Peace Prize during the civil rights movement era. His argument was that Atlanta and Georgia could not move forward if they couldn’t honor a Nobel peace prize winner no matter who it was. I know I don’t have the details exact but point is that it isn’t unheard of for hometown corporations to get involved in state government affairs. Companies will have a hard time attracting too, diverse talent of the state is perceived as backwards. The fact they passed this law based on crazy conspiracy claims of massive voter fraud is extremely concerning to sane individuals and companies. But cities and states that cater to these companies to bring in new citizens usually find themselves at odds since these new citizens typically are diverse. Eventually, the diversity causes the state to have to adapt to the new populations or risk businesses leaving. The state GOP can’t have it all - you create a strong business environment that is world class and diverse the businesses themselves will have to stand up to retain those individuals.

  35. Mark G

    Several points:
    1). Delta should not have commented on the bill.
    2). However since Delta decided to meddle in state politics and announce it to the world, this should give everyone some chills. Just because you agree with their position this time doesn’t mean you will agree with it next time. Democracy should be about people and not corporations.
    3). Democrats in 2021 are still recovering from their Trump derangement and since...

    Several points:
    1). Delta should not have commented on the bill.
    2). However since Delta decided to meddle in state politics and announce it to the world, this should give everyone some chills. Just because you agree with their position this time doesn’t mean you will agree with it next time. Democracy should be about people and not corporations.
    3). Democrats in 2021 are still recovering from their Trump derangement and since Trump is no longer in the public sphere anything that echos him however insignificant will get the full force of leftist Twitter and Main Stream media. It’s basically like the Chinese cultural revolution in cyberspace. Since most advertising happens on these platforms, it’s a pretty effective way to punish anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
    4). Republicans sold their souls and common sense down the river when they partnered with Trump. Their pride is preventing them from admitting they backed a snake oil salesman. Well that and the people who voted for Trump are avid gun owners.
    5). I blame the media for turning politics into entertainment where you end up supporting someone based on party affiliation instead of the candidate’s platform.
    6). Responses are welcome. But please try to dig deeper than calling me a racist.
    7). Lucky, I appreciate your blog and kudos for actually analyzing what happened instead of grandstanding.

  36. Saint82

    Let the people vote. It’s a crime when a bunch of old white men try to restrict the votes of others. It’s called racism. It’s called a power grab. It’s called discrimination. Just like Jim Crow and lynching, just today’s version.

  37. david 2

    Delta should stick to what it does best - flying people and cargo. It's none of their business (or Coca cola or any other corporation) what the people's representatives legislate, or what the duly elected governor signs into law.

    As for the bill itself, all this uproar is just the usual democratic and media whining to drive fund raising. There is nothing in this bill that should be controversial.

    Why are libs and dems so...

    Delta should stick to what it does best - flying people and cargo. It's none of their business (or Coca cola or any other corporation) what the people's representatives legislate, or what the duly elected governor signs into law.

    As for the bill itself, all this uproar is just the usual democratic and media whining to drive fund raising. There is nothing in this bill that should be controversial.

    Why are libs and dems so afraid of voter ID? I have to have an ID to fly on Delta, so why wouldn't I need it to exercise my most sacred right in a democracy?

  38. Justin

    Today's "Cancel everyone and everything that doesn't go with our (leftist) narrative" is absurd. It's the only reason why Delta changed their minds about it to conform to the mob to stop them from getting publicly shamed. They probably don't even agree with it, they just did it to shut the mob up. Such a shame that today people will hound on anyone who doesn't give 100% support to their cause.

  39. Hey_It's_That_Vaxx'd_Guy!

    Hi Lucky,
    I realise this is related to Delta, but, you've mentioned the Demo's concerns namely:

    What are Democrats taking issue with? Among other things, the new voting bill makes it illegal to approach voters waiting in long lines to offer them food or water, and it allows unlimited challenges to a voter’s registration.

    The concern is unfounded as it relates to Campaign Activity.

    SB 202 states:

    SECTION 33.
    1808 Said chapter...

    Hi Lucky,
    I realise this is related to Delta, but, you've mentioned the Demo's concerns namely:

    What are Democrats taking issue with? Among other things, the new voting bill makes it illegal to approach voters waiting in long lines to offer them food or water, and it allows unlimited challenges to a voter’s registration.

    The concern is unfounded as it relates to Campaign Activity.

    SB 202 states:

    SECTION 33.
    1808 Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (e) of Code
    1809 Section 21-2-414, relating to restrictions on campaign activities and public opinion polling
    1810 within the vicinity of a polling place, cellular phone use prohibited, prohibition of candidates
    1811 from entering certain polling places, and penalty, as follows:
    1812 "(a) No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any
    1813 person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give,
    1814 or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and
    1815 drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any
    1816 person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables
    1817 or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast:
    1818 (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is
    1819 established;
    1820 (2) Within any polling place; or
    1821 (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.
    1822 These restrictions shall not apply to conduct occurring in private offices or areas which
    1823 cannot be seen or heard by such electors."
    1824 "(e) This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer from distributing
    1825 materials, as required by law, which are necessary for the purpose of instructing electors
    1826 or from distributing materials prepared by the Secretary of State which are designed solely
    1827 for the purpose of encouraging voter participation in the election being conducted or from
    1828 making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in
    1829 line to vote."

    In regards to the Voter Registration Challenge:

    566 SECTION 15.
    567 Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 21-2-229, relating to challenge of
    568 applicant for registration by other electors, notice and hearing, and right of appeal, as
    569 follows:
    570 "21-2-229.
    571 (a) Any elector of a county or municipality may challenge the qualifications of any person
    572 applying to register to vote in the county or municipality and may challenge the
    573 qualifications of any elector of the county or municipality whose name appears on the list
    574 of electors. Such challenges shall be in writing and shall specify distinctly the grounds of
    21 LC 28 0338S
    S. B. 202 (SUB)
    - 24 -
    575 the challenge. There shall not be a limit on the number of persons whose qualifications
    576 such elector may challenge.
    577 (b) Upon such challenge being filed with the board of registrars, the registrars shall set a
    578 hearing on such challenge within ten business days after serving notice of the challenge.
    579 Notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing shall be served upon the person whose
    580 qualifications are being challenged along with a copy of such challenge and upon the
    581 elector making the challenge within ten business days following the filing of the challenge.
    582 The person being challenged shall receive at least three days' notice of the date, time, and
    583 place of the hearing. Such notice shall be served either by first-class mail addressed to the
    584 mailing address shown on the person's voter registration records or in the manner provided
    585 in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-228.
    586 (c) The burden shall be on the elector making the challenge to prove that the person being
    587 challenged is not qualified to remain on the list of electors. The board of registrars shall
    588 have the authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production
    589 of books, papers, and other material upon application by the person whose qualifications
    590 are being challenged or the elector making the challenge. The party requesting such
    591 subpoenas shall be responsible to serve such subpoenas and, if necessary, to enforce the
    592 subpoenas by application to the superior court. Any witness so subpoenaed, and after
    593 attending, shall be allowed and paid the same mileage and fee as allowed and paid
    594 witnesses in civil actions in the superior court.
    595 (d) After the hearing provided for in this Code section, the registrars shall determine said
    596 challenge and shall notify the parties of their decision. If the registrars uphold the
    597 challenge, the person's application for registration shall be rejected or the person's name
    598 removed from the list of electors, as appropriate. The elector shall be notified of such
    599 decision in writing either by first-class mail addressed to the mailing address shown on the
    600 person's voter registration records or in the manner provided in subsection (c) of Code
    601 Section 21-2-228 for other notices.

    In the age of fact checking, here are the facts. I hope this clarifies the talking points and misrepresentation by said talking point.

  40. ES

    I think delta was initially trying to sidestep controversy in the same way that this post tries to avoid taking a stance on the details of the voter legislation.

    "Here’s the thing, though — I don’t want to make this political beyond Delta’s part in this."

    Avoiding the voting rights issues raised by this law is a luxury that some citizens do not have.

    There is a detailed analysis of Microsoft's perspective on the...

    I think delta was initially trying to sidestep controversy in the same way that this post tries to avoid taking a stance on the details of the voter legislation.

    "Here’s the thing, though — I don’t want to make this political beyond Delta’s part in this."

    Avoiding the voting rights issues raised by this law is a luxury that some citizens do not have.

    There is a detailed analysis of Microsoft's perspective on the new bill: https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2021/03/31/why-we-are-concerned-about-georgias-new-election-law/

  41. Dan

    Hopefully Delta learned that you should not miss a good opportunity to STFU.

  42. Chase

    Companies pay taxes just as individuals do, so it really isn't that strange that they have a say in legislation. Delta was just really stupid they way they went about it.

    If you think otherwise, you really need to step back and look at the organizations that use fear and membership to indirectly control entire states and federal legislation, all the while not paying a dime in taxes...they are called churches and religious institutions.

  43. The Original Donna

    I agree with @John. Having lived in Georgia, I know that Delta gives back more than it gets from the fuel tax exemption. This threat from Georgia leadership keeps coming back like a bad odor. Georgia Republican legislators better not overplay their hand with Delta because there are plenty of other states willing to roll out the red carpet if Delta decides to bail on Georgia.

  44. Ryan

    LOL one of the funniest parts of this blog are the people who, whenever there anything REMOTELY political, DEMAND that Ben write something other than what he wants on their own blog because of their own sensitive cowardice. Yet those folks will be the same ones calling others snowflakes...

    Hopefully David's tears have subsided by now.

  45. Pookie

    @Ben Thank you for this post; I know some will complain and proclaim that the post is not relevant to the blog, but they miss the point - this is your blog, and those of us who choose to read it do so with the understanding that you are the editor in chief.

    I totally see the relevance of this post in regards to travel. I like to be informed about the companies vying...

    @Ben Thank you for this post; I know some will complain and proclaim that the post is not relevant to the blog, but they miss the point - this is your blog, and those of us who choose to read it do so with the understanding that you are the editor in chief.

    I totally see the relevance of this post in regards to travel. I like to be informed about the companies vying for my business, and posts such as this help me to achieve that goal, and thus make better choices. Of course some only wish to be wilfully ignorant, and that is OK, I only wish they would keep their ignorance to themselves and not attempt to tell you how to run your blog. The comments are for those who wish to comment on a particular article (hopefully with something more insightful than 'I am booked on this same flight in 2030'), not to tell you what you should not be writing about.

  46. Dick Bupkiss

    All the Qpublican Russian troll thugs are out in force. Can't have those colored folk votin' now, can we?

    Expect more of the same. Bring your horned fur helmet.

  47. Fred

    Corporations are people so they Delta should have a voice...

  48. Ken

    When will the conservatives who look at this website realize this is not the website for them?

  49. Jerry

    It's really a shame that the Georgia GOP makes their state look so silly and backwards time and time again. For a state of its size, it has certainly had a disproportionate impact on US culture with ideas, brands, artists that are recognizable around the world. Yet the state government seems dead set on turning the clock back to 1950.

  50. Reaper

    @Michael, "Why is there no coverage of United forcing passengers to fly 737-Max?"

    Forcing how?

    Gun to the head? Extortion? Blackmail?

    Do tell!

  51. Lance

    Maybe Delta should move the headquarters back to MSP where the NWA side of the house was before the "merger" (which was NW buying DL, but because of DL bankruptcy deals, forced the airline to call it a merger and locate in ATL). MN seems to be friendlier to the airline than GA is. That would be quite the middle finger back at the GA legislature.

  52. S

    "the new voting bill makes it illegal to offer food or water to people waiting in long voting lines"

    Pretty sure it's fine for precincts/election officials to do this, it's just illegal for any party to do it. So this would apply to both Democrats in Atlanta and Republicans in rural Georgia. I don't have a problem with this.

  53. Santastico

    “ The state legislature in Georgia has voted to eliminate a jet fuel tax break for Delta”

    DAL shares are up today so it means the market couldn’t care less.

  54. TravelManager

    @Pete, the reason that @Matt mentioned the Pinocchios related to the President's comments on the voting bill is because that was the topic of the post and the comments were referenced. Honestly, Ben's Op-Ed would have been more convincing if he hadn't had used the quote.

  55. John

    I live in Georgia where few state legislators have the big picture and often vote for knee jerk legislation, as evidenced by the voting bill of last week. This is nothing but a unnecessary game of chicken by stupid short-sighted state legislators trying to prove a weak point.

    The legacy tax break afforded Mr. Delta is well deserved and well afforded by Georgia in the overall scheme of things. Delta, for many decades, has...

    I live in Georgia where few state legislators have the big picture and often vote for knee jerk legislation, as evidenced by the voting bill of last week. This is nothing but a unnecessary game of chicken by stupid short-sighted state legislators trying to prove a weak point.

    The legacy tax break afforded Mr. Delta is well deserved and well afforded by Georgia in the overall scheme of things. Delta, for many decades, has driven economic growth for Atlanta and indeed the whole state of Georgia bringing in millions upon millions of tax dollars, all annually collected from visitors to our state. Not to mention the tens of thousands of Delta employees and the huge economic/income/tax generator they represent alone.

    What if Delta decided other cities and states were more welcoming and deserving of their business, like maybe Orlando where the weather is better than Atlanta. I bet the legislators would think twice before threatening our old friend Delta again.

    Leave Delta alone.

  56. neil

    Someone asked why companies have a say about voting rights.

    My feeling is that if a government entity creates a policy or law that discriminates against some group in society, than a corporation has every right to express is support for that group by publicly objecting to the policy/law.

  57. EC2

    For all those that are tired of Lucky’s political take on aviation related subjects just deal with it. Don’t agree with him most of the time, but I’ve learned and benefited from his articles so much that I cut him a lot of slack. It’s his site and his views so let him write about whatever he wants. At least Lucky allows comments and regularly replied back and is not personal or demeaning like many commenters are in their comments.

  58. Jake

    @Ray of Sunshine
    "are always on the right side"
    I'd say he's always on the left side...

  59. neil

    Clem states:
    "but I don’t know why they have a say about voting rights."

    So @ Clem: I'll answer why:
    When government entities implement laws and policies that discriminate against one group in society, then I'm glad that large corporations speak up against the discrimination. And all the better if that corporation has some amount of standing in that state or city to have some influence.

  60. Pete

    @Matt
    Funny how you seem to bring up the Pinocchios now.
    I think there was someone who got thousands of them over the past 4 years...

  61. EC2

    Someone always could bring water to a pillowing site- you just have to take it to the head of the polling station to distribute. We had had buckets of bottle water at our site in GA on ice. Or heres a concept- bring your own water! Delta requires a flyer to prove who they are so are they engaged in “Flyer suppression.” It’s a joke but the liberal mob is good at intimidating .

  62. Ole

    Delta screwed up in their initial statement. I think they should have called out the positives and negatives of the bill. In this climate of hyper partisanship, an ambiguous statement was always going to be a disaster.

    About the bill itself, its BS. There was no need for it as there wasn’t any voter fraud. This is a typical behavior by political party to rig the system to keep the power instead of outreach to new voters and expand its base

  63. snic

    Why should large corporations have any say in voting rights, or in any form of rights for that matter? Well, they have money. That gives them a say. That's the reality of our current political system.

    Whether that's right or wrong (OK, it's wrong), the fact is that they do have influence. So the question is how they should wield it. I'm not convinced they screwed anything up - they tried to intervene with the...

    Why should large corporations have any say in voting rights, or in any form of rights for that matter? Well, they have money. That gives them a say. That's the reality of our current political system.

    Whether that's right or wrong (OK, it's wrong), the fact is that they do have influence. So the question is how they should wield it. I'm not convinced they screwed anything up - they tried to intervene with the bill in a constructive and positive way, which the CEO explained. Eventually that will come out. Delta is not going to be hurt (or helped) in any major way by the current tempest in a teapot.

  64. Mike

    I think it’s relevant to talk about. These tax breaks are a big deal to Delta. Politics are unfortunately a big part of the airline industry, right or wrong.

    Thanks for posting.

  65. Ray of Sunshine

    One of the reasons why I enjoy your blog, lucky, is that you are not shy about politics and are always on the right side. Readers of travel blogs are certainly diverse in their political views and you do good work by exposing people to politics outside of their bubble.

  66. Matt

    Interestingly, President Biden’s claims have been thoroughly debunked and awarded four Pinocchio’s by the Washington Post.

  67. Clem

    Your last paragraph NAILS it. The fact that private corporations are involved in this is so incredible to me. I get that lobbying is a normal part of politics, but I don't know why they have a say about voting rights.

  68. Aaron

    This political stuff is tiresome and never leads anywhere. I realize Delta is involved, so there is an airline angle here, but nonetheless, this just gets old. I think it's fairly evident that Delta screwed up and there's really no need for confirmation from your readers.

  69. JW

    It's his blog, he posts whatever he damn well please. This is not a democracy, people who dislike are welcome not to read on.

  70. CRAIG

    Probably, but I am not sure it will matter in the end. Delta's reaction will just get caught up in the larger politics of the issue which are beyond the scope of this blog.

  71. Mike W

    Delta should have not had any comment on this bill.But having made a comment they should have stuck with the initial position. Everyone knows there was no widespread fraud.
    Even Sidney Powell said no reasonable person would have believed the voter fraud garbage that she was saying :)

  72. Michael

    Why is there no coverage of United forcing passengers to fly 737-Max? That would be more relevant than this Delta article.

  73. David

    Please spend more time on your Calif trip report.

  74. NJ

    "isn’t it a bit odd how involved corporations are in the crafting of bills about how individuals can vote?"

    Odd, as in, they typically haven't done this? Sure.

    Odd, as in, they are being vocal about legislation that restricts the civil rights of their employees and customers? I don't see the problem. In fact, I commend them for it.

Featured Comments Load all 74 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Craig Bachler

Ed Bastian has been an amazing CEO for Delta, but he needs to focus on recovering service from COVID and not get in front of the headlines that will disenfranchise a segment of passengers. I for one want CEOs to focus on the company and not social responsibility.

Paul

Does Delta still fly to China, Israel, Russia, Etc? Do they put out a press release about elections in those countries?? Pretty sure Delta flying people to those countries brings in Millions of dollars to those beacons of democracy.

Tim Dunn

And Delta is cancelling flights Easter Sunday because it doesn't have enough pilots - just as has been the case every holiday since Thanksgiving. They are up to 3% (75 flights) so far. Pilot chat forums say that Delta is suspending seat blocking in order to accommodate everyone. To say this has been an epic week of a corporate failure is an understatement.

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