Transgender voters may be unable to vote in this year’s presidential election
More than 250,000 transgender voters could be unable to vote in this year’s presidential election in the United States, new research has cautioned.
There are approximately 378,000 eligible transgender voters in the United States who do not have up-to-date identification which accurately represents their gender identity or appearance, the UCLA School of Law report said.
260,000 of those eligible voters reside in states where voters are required to present identification in polling centres, meaning they could be turned away on voting day, Reuters reports.
Voter identification rules ‘could result in transgender voters being disenfranchised’.
It is thought that this could have an impact on Democrats’ chances of beating Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, as people from minority backgrounds are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.
Jody Herman, who is a co-writer on the report, said that staff at polling centres decide whether the person is who they say they are based on identification in 35 of 50 states.
“Especially in states that require an ID to be shown, this could result in some transgender voters being disenfranchised,” she told Reuters.
Meanwhile, election law expert Richard Hasen said: “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.”
Especially in states that require an ID to be shown, this could result in some transgender voters being disenfranchised.
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“These all correlate with someone who is more likely to vote for a Democrat.”
“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,” Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund said.
“Every eligible US citizen should be allowed to vote, including members of the transgender community.”
The Democratic Party is currently deciding who to nominate for this year’s presidential election.
The news comes as the Democratic primaries continue as the party and its membership decide who to put forward to face off against Donald Trump in the presidential election.
Bernie Sanders is currently leading the pack after winning the New Hampshire primary as well as the Nevada caucus. He was narrowly beaten by Pete Buttigieg in the Iowa caucus, which was plagued by technical issues due to a new app-based voting system.
Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar are some of the other high profile Democrats vying for the party’s nomination.