Voter identification laws in nine states may create significant barriers to voting for over 25,000 transgender voters this election cycle. Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have all passed strict photo ID laws, where voters are required to present a government-issued photo ID in order to place a vote. These laws disproportionately impact transgender voters who have transitioned from their assigned sex at birth but do not have updated government-issued identification due to the distinct and significant challenges in legally changing names and gender markers. These challenges can include everything from fees associated with changing documentation to costly requirements like mental health examinations. For trans people of color, trans immigrants, trans elders, and trans youth, these challenges are even further intensified.
In this critical election cycle, at a time where LGBT issues are at the forefront of debates and legislative actions in the country, the ability to vote is crucial. To take the steps to assure your political voice is protected, visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s site www.votingwhiletrans.org and learn about the voter ID laws in your state and your rights as a transgender voter.