American Airlines rebukes Texas voting restrictions
American Airlines on Thursday criticized the restrictive voting rights bill that passed in the Texas state Senate, saying the legislation would “limit voting access.”
“Earlier this morning, the Texas state Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it,” the airline, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote in a statement on Thursday.
“Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder. At American, we believe we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society – not create them,” the statement added.
Southwest Airlines, which is also based in Texas, would not express if it was against the legislation, but did say, according to Reuters, “We believe every voter should have a fair opportunity to let their voice be heard. This right is essential to our nation’s success.”
The legislation, which passed in the state Senate early Thursday by a vote of 18-13 along party lines, is now headed to the state House of Representatives.
If passed and ultimately signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has already expressed support for the legislation, the bill would in part limit extended early voting hours, ban drive-thru voting and prohibit local election officials from automatically sending vote-by-mail applications to voters, according to The Texas Tribune.
The legislation also gives more power to partisan poll watchers, and requires a doctor’s note for Texans with disabilities who are requesting to vote by mail, The Associated Press reported.
American Airlines’ rebuke of the legislation comes amid a push from corporate America against new restrictive voting rights bills that are being considered throughout the country. On Wednesday, the CEOs of Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola were the latest to join the group of companies challenging Georgia’s new voting restrictions.
Republicans lawmakers in Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Iowa have advocated for stringent voting laws following former President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, according to Reuters.
On March 25, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a sweeping elections bill into law, which tightened an array of voting regulations in the state, including limits on the use of ballot drop boxes and ID requirements for absentee voting.
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