Washington, DC - Yesterday, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released two new resources to help address the impact of new voter ID laws. Conservative estimates from the Williams Institute at UCLA indicate that more than 25,000 transgender people could lose their right to vote.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "Transgender people are already imagined to be committing gender fraud. Now these new voter ID laws could set us up to be accused of voter fraud." Keisling added, "Most transgender people have never had problems voting before but this year is different. When a transgender person shows up to a polling place with a name or appearance that isn't perceived to match their voter registration records or their photo ID, they could be turned away."
Voting While Trans: Preparing for the New Voter ID Laws will explain what identification transgender people need to vote in their state. And the Voting While Trans Checklist is a one-page guide to educate poll workers and election officials on the voting rights of transgender people.
Actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox said "NCTE's new Voting While Trans resources are essential tools for trans folks to make sure we don't lose our right to vote in a critical election season."
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that a third (33%) of the respondents who have transitioned have not been able to update any of their legal documents due to outdated medical requirements and cost. Keisling said, "Gender discrepancies on ID, suspicion based on appearance and the lack of the required form of ID may lead to, at best, confusion at the polls, and at worst, being denied a vote."
Transgender writer and advocate Janet Mock said "These restrictive voting measures don't only make it difficult for trans people to meet ID requirements, but these patchwork of laws attempts to suppress our voices and strip us of our right to stand behind the issues that matter most to us."
NCTE urges transgender people to use these resources to inform how they prepare to vote in their state. While many of these laws are currently being contested in courts and by the Department of Justice, transgender people are strongly encouraged to update their records assuming that the voter ID laws in their state go into effect on Election Day.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.