April 2, 2021

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Woke and Weak CEOs: They’re denouncing Georgia’s election law, but have they read it?

The public debate on Georgia’s new voting law has become a stew of falsehood, propaganda and panic. Part of the blame lies with the partisan distortion of Democrats, part with their media echoes, and now part with CEOs of major companies who are uninformed at best or cowardly at worst.

Start with President Biden, the great unifier, who on Wednesday to ESPN called the law “ Jim Crow on steroids,” while saying he’d “strongly support” moving the Major League Baseball all-star game out of Atlanta. He’s picking up the smear about Georgia from Stacey Abrams, who still hasn’t accepted that she lost the race for Peach State Governor in 2018.

“You’re going to close a polling place at 5 o’clock, when working people just get off?” he said to ESPN. “This is all about keeping working folks, and ordinary folks that I grew up with, from being able to vote.” Mr. Biden either doesn’t know what’s in the Georgia bill or he is lying about it. We’d like to believe it’s the former, but that gets harder to credit as his falsehoods multiply.

On Election Day in Georgia, anyone in line by 7 p.m. gets a ballot. The new law requires an extra Saturday of voting, while specifying early voting hours: The minimum is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but counties may run 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In metro areas, “you might not notice a change,” explains Georgia Public Broadcasting. Elsewhere, “you will have an extra weekend day, and your weekday early voting hours will likely be longer.”

Then there are the big companies racing out PR statements of condemnation, though what’s often most conspicuous is their vagueness. The voting law “is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values,” said the airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian. He groveled that he’d had “time to now fully understand all that is in the bill.”

What a clumsy emergency landing. Last week Mr. Bastian said that “concerns remain” about the law, while he explained—accurately—that it “expands weekend voting, codifies Sunday voting and protects a voter’s ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason.” He added: “For the first time, drop boxes have also been authorized for all counties statewide.”

What changed in the interim? Could it be that he has bowed to the woke mob, as the path of least political and commercial resistance? Why not stay silent if you don’t know what you’re talking about or can’t stand the heat?

Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill, rightly called foul: “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.”

My compromise: We won’t require more ID, or longer lines, than Delta does for its flights . . . .

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