Report finds that thousands of trans voters may be unable to vote in presidential election

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The report found that 378,000 trans voters may not have the correct identification.

A report has found that 378,000 trans voters may be unable to vote in America’s presidential election later this year as they don’t have identification that matches their gender identity. Voters could be turned away if their name or appearance doesn’t match their identification card.

The report was carried out by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Currently, 35 out of 50 US states require voter identification, and out of the trans people without identification, 260,000 live in those states.

Some of the strictest laws are in Georgia, which has an ‘exact match’ law, meaning that personal information, such as a name, must correlate with what is stored in the state’s database.

Speaking to Reuters, Richard Hasen, an election law expert and law professor, said this could benefit the Republican Party.

“If you look at the demographics of people least likely to have an ID, they tend to be more poor or a racial or ethnic minority,” he explained. “These all correlate with someone who is more likely to vote for a Democrat.”

Jody Hermon, one of the report’s co-authors, added: “Especially in states that require an ID to be shown, this could result in some transgender voters being disenfranchised.”

Ted Eytan via Flickr

In a statement, Mara Keisling, head of The National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund, said: “Transgender people should not be denied their opportunity to participate in our democracy because laws and regulations around identification documents haven’t kept up with reality.

“Every eligible US citizen should be allowed to vote, including members of the transgender community.”

This current administration has stopped at nothing to attack trans rights at every turn, with its most notable piece of anti-trans legislation being the ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT & HIV Project, Joshua Block, slammed the policy and said it “effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country, and makes it clear that transgender service members are not welcome.”

The President of the United States first took to Twitter in 2017 to announce that anyone who identifies as trans will no longer be allowed to serve their country, citing “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” by trans individuals.

Tr*mp has claimed that the policy has support, but many, including those in the military have spoken out against it. Retired US general Stanley McChrystal said: “If we have people who want to serve, if they have the desire and capacity to serve, I think it’s a mistake to lose that talent.

“I also think it’s a mistake to send any message that says somebody with those attributes, the willingness and the capability to serve, not being welcome, is a negative message to send.”

Related: How to be a trans ally: tips to help you be the best advocate you can be

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