Up to 34,000 transgender people in the United States could face problems voting in next month’s election because their ID cards do not match their gender, advocacy groups said, urging them to vote by mail to avoid being turned away at the polls. Transgender rights have come under increasing scrutiny in the United States with access to public bathrooms and health care dominating media coverage and political discourse in recent months. Thousands of transgender people, however, might be unable to vote in the November 8 presidential election in states with stringent voter ID laws, according to a report by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. “A transgender voter may show up at the poll with a valid ID, however if they have not been able to update the gender marker or photo on that ID, a poll worker may be confused and refuse them a ballot,” said Arli Christian, spokeswoman for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
Doubts about gender on an ID is not a valid reason to deny a ballot, but it has been used to turn transgender voters away from polling stations in the past, campaigners said. “It’s a shame that a trans person would have to put themselves at risk of scrutiny, harassment, discrimination to exercise something as basic as their right to vote,” Christian said.
Thirty-four states have passed voter identification laws, according to the Williams Institute, with eight requiring the voter show a government ID with photo.
Full Article: Voter ID Laws May Keep Transgender Voters From the Polls.