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citizens who have transitioned to live full-time don’t have an updated driver’s license’, with 74% having an outdated passport.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



No thumbnail available

Sexless activist wins appeals verdict to recognize third sex in Australian state

An Australian person who is neither male nor female has won an appeals verdict in the Supreme Court of New South Wales after the New South Wales state Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages issued norrie mAy-Welby with a certificate declaring norrie ‘sex not specified’ and then withdrew it
No thumbnail available

Frank Ocean: ‘Channel Orange might be my last album’

Grammy nominated gay singer says he is considering quitting the music industry and writing a novel next year
No thumbnail available

Gay Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum in stripper film

Gay pin-up Matt Bomer stars as stripper along with Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum in Magic Mike film
No thumbnail available

Perez Hilton prepared for 'skepticism and snarkiness' to accompany stage debut

Blogger to debut in off-Broadway's NEWSical The Musical
No thumbnail available

The Euroskeptics are endangering LGBTI rights in Europe and beyond

The Euro elections have seen anti-EU and far-right parties triumph across Europe – so what does that mean for gay, bi, trans and intersex people?
Trailblazer: Miss Fame - 'I would avoid anywhere that has legal issues with being gay'

Trailblazer: Miss Fame - 'I would avoid anywhere that has legal issues with being gay'

The RuPaul's Drag Race star shares her travel stories with Gay Star News - from growing up in California, to a layover in Helsinki, to romance in Florence.
No thumbnail available

Photo of kissing lesbians accidentally used in straight marriage article

Conservative news network Fox News mistakingly used a photo of two brides kissing in an anti-equality, anti-feminist opinion piece
No thumbnail available

Concerns of 'lipstick lesbians' in the UK revealed

Stilettos, a new group for femme lesbians in the UK, reveals concerns of their members
No thumbnail available

Laverne Cox reveals trailer for upcoming trans documentary

The transgender actress says her new documentary on transgender youth and the issues they face
No thumbnail available

Sir Ian McKellen partners with Gay Star News to raise funds for Stonewall

The gay icon's original drawing is being auctioned by the UK charity.