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The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Delta faces boycott threats for stance on new Georgia voting law

Social media users said they would no longer give the airline their business

(Charlie Riedel/AP)
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Georgia’s new voting law, which puts barriers in place for absentee and mail-in voting and makes it illegal for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters in line, has earned widespread criticism from Democrats and voting rights advocates. President Biden called it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, on the other hand, put out a statement on Friday saying the bill — which was signed into law Thursday night — had “improved considerably during the legislative process” and noted some elements for praise.

That statement from CEO Ed Bastian has prompted a #BoycottDelta trend on social media.

“Do not fly Delta. Do not spend money with Delta. Boycott Delta. Ruin Delta,” political commentator Keith Olbermann wrote in a tweet while quoting the airline’s statement.

Georgia governor signs into law sweeping voting bill

A Delta post about flights to Iceland on Friday was inundated during the weekend with responses about the Georgia law. Some said they would be eager to fly to the country — on another airline. Others vowed not to fly anywhere with Delta again.

“Will they even serve me food and water on their flights? Will they treat me like a Georgia voter?” one Twitter user wrote. “Goodbye Delta!!”

Delta did not offer a statement on the boycott pressure.

In Friday’s statement, Bastian said Delta “engaged extensively” with Republicans and Democrats in the state 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.”

Bastian highlighted some elements of the bill, including expanded weekend voting, the authorization of drop boxes for all counties and the ability of poll workers to work across county lines.

Democrats criticized a Republican-led effort to restrict voting in Georgia on March 28, while Republicans slammed attempts to alter the Senate filibuster. (Video: Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

“Nonetheless, we understand concerns remain over other provisions in the legislation, and there continues to be work ahead in this important effort,” the statement said. “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.”

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