NBC reporters said Wednesday that voter ID laws disproportionately affect transgender people, voicing this latest claim of voter suppression just six days out from the midterm elections.
NBC’s Jo Yurcaba said voter ID laws are hurting transgender voters, claiming she spoke with two trans voters who explained the difficulty.
“Voter ID laws disproportionately impact trans people because trans people are more likely to have IDs without the name that they go by and the gender marker that reflects how they present,” Yurcaba said. “Research shows just over 200,000 eligible trans voters in 31 states that conduct their elections mostly in person and require or request ID at the polls don’t have IDs that reflect their gender identity and the names they go by.”
“The states with the strictest voter ID laws are mostly concentrated in the south and midwest. Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kansas,” she added.
Yurcaba said she spoke with Alex, who described a transition process that included court appearances, getting fingerprints taken and undergoing a criminal background check.
“This has become even more difficult in recent years because a lot of states have passed laws restricting whether or even how you can change your gender marker on your drivers license, for instance, which is only possible in Tennessee, for example, if you show proof of surgery,” Alex said.
Another individual, Henry, who is a biological female but identifies as a man, told Yurcaba that poll workers used extra scrutiny when examining Henry’s ID since Henry was “presenting as masculine” but had an ID card that said female. (RELATED: Most Americans Less Likely To Vote For Candidates Who Let Biological Males Compete In Women’s Sports)
“[Henry said] it’s dangerous for trans people due both to the wave of anti-trans legislation we have seen, but also in states like Tennessee where you have seen five anti-trans bills become law last year. And so, those combination of the two make that kind of thing at the polls dangerous for trans voters.”
NBC reported that approximately 203,700 trans voters who live across the 31 states that require a form of ID to vote in person do not have IDs that match their gender identity or names, and 64,000 of those voters live in states where photo IDs are required.