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citizens who have transitioned to live full-time don’t have an updated driver’s license’, with 74% having an outdated passport.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

South Africa's controversial gay-friendly mosque torched on eve of Muslim festival

Founder of mosque says petrol and oil were used, claims vandals are to blame for the attack
No thumbnail available

Claims Atlanta NYE stabber was responding to anti-gay attack

There are claims that a young man charged over a stabbing incident at a New Years Eve house party in Atlanta, Georgia, was defending himself against a homophobic attack but his supporters are refusing to cooperate with police
No thumbnail available

Here are the 11 biggest asexual myths busted

Think asexuals are completely different from gay people? Think again as we bust some myths
No thumbnail available

Gay jock joins anti-gay bullying campaign

Ice hockey player in Ottawa, Canada, says You Can Play Project will save lives of gay teens in sport
No thumbnail available

Virginia gay marriage lawsuit given class action status by court

Initially filed on behalf of two couples, case will now represent all same-sex couples in the state who cannot legally marry
No thumbnail available

Eugene Lovendusky, gay activist attacked over the weekend in NYC, speaks out

'They started yelling 'faggot' at us, and I spun on my heels because I am worth defending'
No thumbnail available

Star Trek fan proposes to boyfriend on Enterprise bridge

'I am over the moon and completely shocked'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

New Zealand churches to ignore marriage equality

Most New Zealand religious groups say they will simply ignore the legalization of same-sex marriage if a bill is passed by parliament
No thumbnail available

Political religious leader: Israel cannot recognize gay marriage

A leader of a right wing Israeli political party said Israel must not recognize same-sex marriage