As Texans plead with state officials to protect the integrity of their votes, American Airlines issued a public statement attacking an election integrity bill the state Senate passed hours earlier.
Early Thursday morning, Texas senators passed Senate Bill 7 by a vote of 18-13.
State Sen. Bryan Hughes’ (R–Mineola) omnibus election bill, co-authored by 12 other GOP senators, is loaded with reforms sought by election integrity advocates, intended to make voting more secure, accurate, and transparent.
“People want to know that their vote will be counted accurately, that the system is fair and transparent,” Hughes said Wednesday evening.
Late afternoon, the American Airlines corporation issued a public statement condemning SB 7.
“Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access,” the Texas-based company claimed. “We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it.”
“We value the democratic process and believe every eligible American should be allowed to exercise their right to vote, no matter which political party or candidate they support,” the statement continues. “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.”
In its current version, Senate Bill 7 would:
- expand the data voter registrars can use to verify voters’ citizenship
- assess civil penalties for officials who don’t follow election code
- prohibit officials from sending unsolicited mail-ballot applications
- add an affirmation of disability to mail-ballot applications
- implement an online tracking system for voters who request mail ballots
- prohibit drop boxes for mail ballots
- set uniform early voting hours statewide
- prohibit “drive-thru” voting
- define what it means for poll watchers to observe (“near enough to see and hear”)
- allow poll watchers to record election officials’ activities
- allow surveillance cameras in ballot-counting locations and mandate the video be publicly live-streamed in counties with 100,000 or more residents
- require all Texas voting systems to have an auditable paper trail by 2026
- require approvals from multiple state officials for counties to accept more than $1,000 in private cash for election administration
American Airlines’ statement came as Texans were in the House Elections Committee, asking representatives to pass House Bill 6, the election integrity omnibus bill authored by State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park).
The Delta and Coca-Cola corporations, among others, recently condemned election integrity legislation recently passed in Georgia. The Republican-controlled Georgia state House responded by voting to end a tax break for Delta that Forbes says is worth “tens of millions” yearly.