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.