Jordan Hanson, of Lawrence, is afraid that when she goes to the polls for the Aug. 5 primary, she will be turned away without being able to vote. Hanson is a resident of Kansas who is older than 18, has registered to vote and has an official, government-issued photo identification card. The problem? The photo and the “sex” field on the ID, a Kansas driver’s license, identify her as a man. Hanson, a transgender Kansan, said she is loathe to let her gender identity be vetted by a random poll worker. “My identification and my ability to vote should not be up the subjective interpretation of anyone,” Hanson said. Tom Witt is the executive director of Equality Kansas, the state’s main lobbying group for gay, lesbian and transgender Kansans.
Witt said Hanson is coming forward with a concern activists say is prevalent in the transgender community. “For a lot of people their ID is months or years behind who they are, and that’s a very serious issue for people trying to vote within this new regimen,” Witt said.
Witt said others have called his organization to ask about their voting rights, but “everybody is reluctant to be public about this, because there is no protection against discrimination based on gender identity in this state.”
Kay Curtis is a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who spearheaded the voter ID laws. Curtis said potential voters are allowed to present a second ID with a more current picture, that doesn’t have to be government-issued, such as a Sam’s Club membership card.
Full Article: Transgender Kansans fear voter ID roadblock | CJOnline.com.