The clash was an unusual one for two of the state’s most powerful executives. But it showed the pressure that both were under because of the controversial voting measure.
Delta’s initial statement on the measure said that there was still “work ahead” to improve access to voting. But it included positive comments about some elements, saying that in part due to its own lobbying effort, the law had been “improved considerably during the legislative process.”
The statement continued, “The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.”
Kemp quickly issuing his own statement accusing Bastian of spreading misinformation and not recognizing the positives for voting included in the bill.
“Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists,” said Kemp’s statement. He defended measures to require official IDs such as drivers’ licenses before people can vote, pointing out that before a passenger can fly on Delta – or any other airline – they must produce a photo ID.
“Mr. Bastian should compare voting laws in Georgia — which include no-excuse absentee balloting, online voter registration, 17 days of early voting with an additional two optional Sundays, and automatic voter registration when obtaining a driver’s license — with other states Delta Airlines operates in,” said Kemp.
Delta declined to comment on Kemp’s comment.