New laws could stop trans Americans from voting in election

Large numbers of transgender people might not be able to vote in November

New laws could stop trans Americans from voting in election
16 April 2012

Strict new voter ID laws may leave large numbers of transgender people unable to vote in the US general election this November.

A study published by the Williams Institute suggests transgender people will run into problems when presenting identification that no longer accurately reflects their gender, appearance or both.

It says that, as well as causing problems for transgender people when it comes to applying for employment and housing and interactions with police and government officials, not having the correct photo ID could prevent transgender people from voting.

The Williams Institute suggests that over 25,000 will come up against ‘substantial barriers’ and may not even be able to vote at all.

Nine states – Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin – have adopted the stricter photo ID laws.

'Transgender people who have transitioned face unique hurdles when acquiring or updating identification that would fulfill voter ID requirements because they must comply with the requirements for updating the name and gender on their state-issued or federally-issued IDs and records,' wrote the study’s author, Dr Jody L Herman.

'Requirements for updating state-issued IDs vary widely by state and can be difficult and costly. Federal requirements also vary by agency.'

The report’s data, from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, suggests that ‘40% of transgender citizens who have transitioned to live full-time don’t have an updated driver’s license’, with 74% having an outdated passport.

And 27% have no ID or documents that list their correct gender.

The report says that, on presenting ID that no longer accurately reflected their gender, 41% of respondents had been harassed, 15% had been asked to leave the venue where they’d used it and 3% had been assaulted or attacked.

It also suggests that transgender youth, people of color and those with low incomes or disabilities were more likely to have inaccurate identification.

You can read the Williams Institute’s complete report about voter ID laws and their affect on transgender voters in a PDF here.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Soccer rep reveals talks with eight gay football stars

Chair of Britain’s Professional Footballers Association says media reaction is one thing which dissuades football professionals from coming out
No thumbnail available

Out soap actor would be happy if his character on The Young and the Restless was gay too

Greg Rikaart: 'It certainly would be interesting ... in my opinion'
No thumbnail available

BBC hopes new gay dad comedy will be a hit

It Takes A Village, which originally aired on American TV, will be one of six pilots due to air next year
No thumbnail available

Wisconsin registry for gay couples upheld by state's supreme court

Justices rule that registry does not violate the state's ban on gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Pope says France gay marriage threatens family and society

The Pope called upon French Catholics to challenge the planned introduction of gay marriage dubbing it as a ‘threat’ to the family and society in France
No thumbnail available

Gay people compared to racists and polygamists in new video

Alliance Defending Freedom has released an anti-gay marriage video which attacks President Obama
No thumbnail available

Charges dismissed against gay man and trans woman who could have faced life in jail in Uganda

They had been accused of being a gay couple 'posing' as a husband and wife
No thumbnail available

Janet Mock, Russell Brand and more condemn Bruce Jenner InTouch cover

Celebrities and campaigners criticize the US magazine, which photoshopped Jenner to appear as a woman, as ‘shockingly insensitive’ 
No thumbnail available

Frank Ocean ‘pressing charges’ against Chris Brown after brawl

Openly gay R&B artist is reportedly pressing charges against the singer famous for beating up Rihanna
No thumbnail available

Have you thought about becoming a sperm donor?

Have you ever considered sperm donation but don’t know much about it? Toyin Jegede from the London Sperm Bank tells us more about the process and why gay men donate