Voter ID Laws Negatively Impact Voting Rights for Trans People

Voter suppression laws are a tool of the Republican party to limit ballot access for communities that they deem undesirable. We know voter ID laws create disproportionate barriers to black and brown voters, but a 2020 study demonstrates that members of the LGBTQ+ are particularly impacted as they face unique challenges obtaining ID that reflects their gender identity and in how they are treated at the polls.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law published a study in February 2020, The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2020 General Election, examining the obstacles that transgender citizens with ID that does not match their gender encounter when attempting to register to vote and at the polls.

More than 40% of trans Americans lacked an ID that accurately reflected their name or gender. In 2020, nearly 1 million trans citizens were eligible to vote and 27% of them lived in states where they did not meet the ID requirements. More than a quarter of a million voters were disenfranchised – and voter restrictions are just getting worse. Further, over 30% of trans voters reported having negative experiences at the polls, including verbal harassment and physical assault.

Passing bills such as the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act are imperative to pushing back against targeted voter suppression. Democrats Work For America is partnering with Indivisible and 100 other grassroots organizations to organize Deadline For Democracy rallies during the Congressional recess to show our politicians that Americans are standing up for democracy. Rallies are going on now through July 10. Find a rally to attend or host your own.

In the meantime, call you Senators at 202-224-3121 and demand they protect voting rights for every American. Democracy depends on it.

If you want more information on navigating voting laws as a trans person, the National Center for Transgender Equality has a guide that can help. Knowing your rights is essential.

Rachel Murphy Azzara is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Democrats Work For America