In a carefully-worded statement, United Airlines attempts to diffuse growing controversy over Republican-led changes to state voting laws by expressing broad platitudes about voting rights plus criticism over claims of voter fraud.
United Airlines Believes In “Easier And More Convenient” Voting
In a statement posted on Twitter, United Airlines argues that “legislation that infringes on the right to vote of fellow Americans is wrong,” but does not specifically condemn new voting laws in Georgia or in Texas, where United maintains a large Houston hub.
Our mission is to connect people and unite the world. We believe that one of the most effective ways to do this is to engage in the democratic process, which begins with voting – a vital civic duty. America’s democracy is stronger when we’re all engaged, and every vote is properly counted.
Some have questioned the integrity of the nation’s election systems and are using it to justify stricter voting procedures, even though numerous studies have found zero credible evidence of widespread fraud in U.S. elections. Legislation that infringes on the right to vote of fellow Americans is wrong. We believe that leaders in both parties should work to protect the rights of eligible voters by making it easier and more convenient for them to cast a ballot and have it counted.
By dismissing voter fraud and arguing that voting should be easier, United earned thousands of negative comments on Twitter, almost all from those who in support of voting reform.
Representative Dan Crenshaw (R – Texas) pummeled United:
“Travelers 18 years of age or older are required to have a valid, current U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature for travel..”
That’s your policy, United. Pandering hypocrites. Just shut up. https://t.co/m2PIPOIPsi
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 5, 2021
Many Twitter used called him out on the analogy, distinguishing the privilege of commercial air travel versus the right of voting. Others responded that if required for a privilege, it should certainly be required for something so fundamental.
Meanwhile, United also received thousands of comments in support of its statement and defense against critics, with many pointing out that the new voting laws present more concerns than the obligatory presentation of photo identification.
By making a general statement but still taking a position (unlike Southwest), United Airlines hopes to get the spotlight off itself. As other states consider similar laws, United can refer questions to this statement and no longer have to elaborate or address the nuances of each proposed law.
Maybe you should have more carefully looked at your own statement.
From you first sentence, ” …controversy over Republican led changes to state voting laws..”
Have you ever used the term “controversy over Democrat led changes…..”? Words are pretty powerful, what’s your point by stating this?
Also from your first sentence, “…expressing broad platitudes about voting rights plus criticism over claims of voter fraud.” Again, Matt you are not stupid. I find it very ironic that you publish an article about “careful wording” yet your wording certainly sends a message. Ignorance or intentional?
I do not understand what your objection is. This is a highly partisan issue and it is Republicans, nearly exclusively, that are pushing these changes. If you’re in favor of these changes, then you are welcome to explain how the media has unfairly portrayed these laws under consideration and how in some cases access to early voting and absentee ballots is expanded.
Not sure what your issue is about the first sentence either. United does express broad platitudes over voting rights plus offers criticism over claims of voting fraud. Am I missing something?
This was pretty brilliantly worded by United. They didn’t specify a state or a particular law, allowing the audience to read between the lines. And those who rushed to comment negatively on the statement merely self-incriminated by defending laws they know are skewed/biased despite having not been directly mentioned let alone attacked. I’m reminded of the line from Hamlet: The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Of course, Dan Crenshaw is “the lady”…even though that title typically falls to Lindsay Graham. I’m not a United fanboy, but I’ll give ’em a hearty golf clap for this one.
Not sure Dan Crenshaw is pummeling anything these days. Except maybe his last remaining vestige of sanity.
Interestingly, and I am not completely positive on this, but there are exceptions to the ID rule when flying? I know this only as twice I lost my ID when traveling but was able to fill out quickly a few forms with TSA and be on my way. If this is not the same with the new voting laws, that is, if there is not an alternative for those in extenuating circumstances, Crenshaw has no place comparing them.
as a long time employee dating back to Capital and United , I would have this suggestioron, BUTT OUT OF THE POLITICS AND PROVIDE GREAT SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMERS, Democrats and Republicans alike. Mr Patterson would roll over in his grave. Flying is our business!!!!
sorry its suggestion
stuart pointed this out upthread, but not only is this comparison disingenuous, it’s not even correct since you can easily board an aircraft w/o photo ID unless traveling internationally. i’ve gone to the airport w/o my license accidentally, and they have a point system where they will add up other documentation like credit cards with your name on them, student ids, library cards, etc. these restrictive voter ID laws have no such workflows.
I see no reason why a comment is even necessary.
Are they going to comment on the proposed new capital gains tax in Washington state? About the recently vetoed bill to regulate gender assigning treatment to minors in Arkansas? About the proposed amendments to the Liquor Control Act of 1934 in Illinois?
@Derek because matters of voter suppression are considered to be controversial in the mainstream. While the counter-argument is that new legislation makes voting more secure, eligible voters will ultimately be disenfranchised by these new rules, and that is the true intent of the legislation. Companies aren’t merely grandstanding, they’re supporting their own associates and those associates’ friends and families who could be negatively impacted as a result.
reply to Matt, yes highly partisan topic which should be a baseline everyone can agree. My point is you say, “This is a highly partisan issue and it is Republicans, nearly exclusively, that are pushing these changes.”
Don’t you recall all the voting regulations Democrats recently forced though under the guise of we are doing this because of Covid. Nevada great example of Democratic forced changes to previously existing voting laws. So my point is why are you saying “it is Republicans”. Might be a factual statement, but geeze what about “its the Democrats” who exclusively just forced the voting law changes. I am just saying ONE party forced changes now the other party is doing same thing. Don’t focus on the party, focus on the issue. Classic partisan view, mix some factual statement, partisan language, innuendo and then stand on your self proclaimed moral high ground. This approach means we are all headed for further divide regardless of your personal beliefs
@JG what you’re missing is that not all changes are morally equivalent. Expanding mail-in voting as was done by Dems in NV (and Reps in FL, among others) is a reasonable measure to protect citizens health and rights during a pandemic. It’s difficult to make a moral argument against it.
Not allowing polls to be open on Sunday, or criminalizing giving water to voters waiting in long lines serves no purpose other than targeting specific groups and making it more difficult for them to vote.
I don’t mean to speak for Matthew, but I don’t believe his article, or United’s statement is targeted at the GOP. It’s targeted at legislation, that most people who believe in democracy for all, see as immoral.
A bit milquetoast on United’s part but they deserve some props for taking a stance in favor of democracy over suppression.
@Matthew – I didn’t try it today but a couple of times recently I hit the Reply button to respond to someone in the comments but my responses were listed in the general comments. Not a huge deal but I wonder if anyone else has had this happen.
I don’t understand what is partisan about ensuring that as many Americans can vote as possible. Voters are imperative to a functioning democracy, and the more the better. Voter suppression of any kind shows both cowardice & weakness. I have worked the polls in my state for decades, and the idea and fear of voter fraud is nothing more than a myth circulated by the Republican Party to create chaos, confusion, and doubt regarding election results. Unfortunately, that is all the Republican Party does days as they are too lazy and bigoted to create any new ideas of their own.
I am a registered Republican. I haven’t voted GOP since 1988 after Pat Buchanan’s loathsome speech at the ’92 Republican convention, which got so much applause. I have no time for the vitriol and hate the GOP spouts, which gets worse and worse each day. They’ve even admitted (!) that the more people “allowed” to vote, the less chance they have of winning national elections. I live in a red state but a Dem district so my vote counts for nothing statewide/nationally, except for my Congressional Representative. We have open primaries in my state and I voted for Trump in the primary simply because I despise Ted Cruz that much. I should have put a gun to my head instead.
@Michael – Republicans at the national, state, and local level have openly admitted over the past year they can’t win if more people vote (because, you know, they are stuck in the 1950 policy-wise). Ergo, they vote suppress.