Tags: transgender | voters | photo | ID | laws | election

Election Monitor: Photo ID Laws Won't Oppress Transgender Voters

By    |   Friday, 12 September 2014 03:26 PM

A voter integrity watchdog says a study arguing transgender voters could be disenfranchised by strict voter ID laws is overblown.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law released a report this week saying about 24,000 transgender voters in 10 states with government-issued photo ID requirements for voting could be prevented from casting ballots in November because they don't have an updated ID that reflects their current gender.

That represents about 28 percent of the transgender population in Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia.

"Transgender people who have transitioned face additional burdens to 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 study author Jody L. Herman.

"There is no way to predict precisely how election officials and poll workers will treat transgender voters at the polls if they do not present accurate identification. Respondents to the [National Transgender Discrimination Survey] reported having negative experiences after presenting identification documents that did not match their gender presentation," Herman said.

Tom Fitton, president of right-leaning Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog Judicial Watch, told Watchdog.org he can't "wrap my head around that objection."

"Would a transgender person be exempt from showing ID to rent a car, ride on an airplane, or open a bank account?" he asked.

Fitton argued liberals use the voter ID issue to appeal to narrow political blocks and "sow racial and societal division."

"It is truly shameful, especially as since much of the racial calumny about voter ID is coming from President Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice. The good news is that Americans, regardless of party, support voter ID."

A Rasmussen Reports poll in March found 78 percent of Americans, including about half of Democrats, believe voters should have ID showing proof of citizenship to vote. The telephone survey of 1,000 voters had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Alabama's photo ID law is less strict than the other states because voters who don't show a photo ID can cast a provisional ballot and bring an ID to an election office by 5 p.m. Friday after Election Day. Alternatively, two election officials can sign sworn statements saying they know the voter.

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A voter integrity watchdog says a study arguing transgender voters could be disenfranchised by strict voter ID laws is overblown.
transgender, voters, photo, ID, laws, election
Friday, 12 September 2014 03:26 PM
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