Thursday, September 29, 2016

34000 voters blocked from franchise?

We're not talking about enough voters to turn the election. But in a year in which Republican enthusiasm for a transphobic "bathroom bill" is fueling protests in North Carolina while businesses and the NCAA flee the state, this is worth noting. According to Jody L. Herman writing at the Williams Institute at UCLA:

Eight states’ voter ID laws may create substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement for tens of thousands of transgender voters this election.  In Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, about 112,000 transgender people who have transitioned are estimated to be eligible to vote—34,000 of them may face barriers to voting this November due to strict ID laws.

-Thirty percent of the voting-eligible transgender population in eight states (Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have no identification or records that accurately reflect their gender.

-Transgender people of color, youth, students, people with low income, and people with disabilities are likely overrepresented among those who do not have an accurate ID for voting.

-In order for these 34,000 voting-eligible transgender people to obtain the accurate IDs for voting, they must comply with the state and federal requirements for updating IDs. These requirements vary widely by state or federal agency and can be difficult and costly to meet.

It is easy to imagine that individuals who have accomplished a brave and difficult transition aren't going to want to jump through additional bureaucratic hoops -- and risk rejection or worse from bigoted authorities -- in order to vote. Transfolk are citizens too and this is simply wrong.

1 comment:

Classof65 said...

Jan --
I just saw an article in the East Bay Express regarding Oakland's Data Surveillence Center which indicates that they are installing all kinds of optic cameras, etc. to identify political dissidents. I have to admit that the article was dated December of 2015, so this may not be any surprise to you, but this kind of Big Brother stuff really bothers me and, I assume it bothers you as well...

Just thought I'd let you know...

Best regards,
Teresa Giddens

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