CEOs condemn Georgia voter ID law, while their own companies require valid photo ID

Leaders of major corporations have come out swinging against a Georgia election reform law with an ID requirement for absentee ballots — even though those same companies require valid photo ID to access the services their companies provide.

After Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp on March 25 signed into law the bill passed by the state's Republican legislature, heads of corporations headquartered in the Peach State – including the leaders of Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola — came out against the law, which is fervently opposed by national and state Democratic leaders.

Democratic messaging against the law centers around the allegedly racially discriminatory implications of requiring valid voter ID in order to vote by mail. President Joe Biden blasted the law as an "atrocity," likening it to "Jim Crow in the 21st century." Seventy-two black executives, meanwhile, signed an open letter calling on their corporate brethren to stand up to the Georgia voting law's "un-American" "assault" on the "fundamental tenets of our democracy." 

But in an echo of the politicians who got caught flouting their own COVID-19 mitigation restrictions, several of the same corporate giants embracing the Democrats' heated partisan rhetoric alleging "voter suppression" themselves require ID to access their services.

On March 11, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, dedicated a building at the company's Atlanta headquarters to Andrew Young, the former Democratic mayor of the city, Carter administration U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and civil rights leader. At the dedication ceremony, Young addressed the election reform bill then making its way through the Georgia State House and Senate, and Young's daughter Andrea approached Bastian to emphasize "how important it was to oppose this law," she said.

Last week, after being lobbied by former CEO of American Express Kenneth Chenault, one of the signers of the open letter, Bastian sent a memo to Delta employees alleging that the GOP voting law is a Republican attempt to "make it harder for many underrepresented voters" to "exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives."

But if you want to hop a Delta flight to Atlanta — or anywhere else — you will need to show unexpired, government-issued ID to board any of the carrier's flights.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC last week that Georgia's new law is "unacceptable" and "a step backwards."
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