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opinion columns
by Richard Harris

From the April 7, 2021 issue of The Journal
   I once got home from Texas a day late because I missed my flight from Houston to Atlanta due to losing my driver's license during the trip.
   It was quite an ordeal, as I had my two nephews (kids at the time) with me. Not only did I have to endure a barrage of questions from security, but also I had to worry about the kids wandering off while I was detained. Then, once they decided that I wasn't a threat, I had to fight off boredom with the kids as we waited for seats to become available on a later flight.
   Ever since then if I plan to fly somewhere, I check my wallet for my license multiple times (and constantly check my pocket to make sure I didn't forget my wallet).
   Now, I no longer have to worry, at least if I fly Delta Airlines, which I assume will no longer require ID to board their planes for fear of being thought racist.
   Delta is among several huge corporations that have recently sounded off on Georgia with disdain and condemnation due to recent tweaking of election laws.
   Their responses have come after listening to condemnations from the left side of the country's political divide, which have called the voting regulations racist. One chief component of the alleged racism is extending the ID requirement to those who vote by absentee ballots (it's been required to vote at the polls for a good while already).
   Now, in order to get an absentee ballot, you'll have to submit your driver's license number, state ID card (free), copy of passport, employee ID card, utility bill, or bank statement. Apparently, only white people can get any of those types of ID, according to Delta.
   Other ways Georgia is allegedly trying to suppress black residents from voting include baring people from giving away food and drinks within 150-feet of the polls (which some could use as a campaign tactic since campaigning inside that distance is illegal). Doing so outside of that distance is still acceptable (and counties holding elections may still offer water inside that area).
   Interestingly, other states, including New York, bar giving out food and drink near the polls to "prevent electioneering." I wonder why it's not racist there.
   The new regulations also make it easier to vote in Georgia, by allowing voters to request absentee ballots even if they have no reason to need to vote absentee.
   There are also 17 days of early voting at the polls.
   So, you can vote by absentee ballot no matter your circumstances, you have 17 days available to vote early, and you can vote on Election Day at the polls. Those facts make Georgia one of the easiest states in the nation to cast a ballot.
   So, if it's so easy to vote in Georgia, why is Delta, along with Coca Cola and Major League Baseball (which yanked the All Star Game out of Atlanta), accusing the state of suppressing voter turnout?
   Because they were told to. It no longer matters if the facts are on your side. In today's political climate, opposing parties exaggerate everything they can to make the other party look bad. So, the corporations, afraid of being seen to support the "wrong party", repeat whatever the loudest voices are saying. It doesn't matter if they're right. I only matters if they sound right.
   Delta's current slogan is "Keep Climbing," but you'll actually need an ID to do so, as they apparently haven't stopped being racist after all.