Getting accurate identification has been an old challenge for transgender people. Many states have overcome this problem by modernizing their laws on updating birth certificates and drivers licenses, making voting more accessible to transgender people. However, the passage of dozens of new voter ID laws and strict photo ID requirements will now make it much harder for transgender people to vote.
This year, as many as 25,000 transgender Americans face having their right to vote challenged or taken away as a result of new strict photo ID laws. And while trans American face challenges every day trying to secure ID’s that accurately reflect who they are, we’ve been working with NCTE to elevate stories around the potential impact this will have on voters next week.
Before heading to the polls, be sure to check your voter ID status as well as these helpful tips to make sure you are prepared on and after Election Day.
In addition, if you are talking with friends and family about the efforts to suppress various communities from voting, the Brennan Center for Justice and Advancement Project have teamed up to provide some shortcuts to help guide you as you continue the conversation about voting.
From the Center:
One key: don't be overly negative. While discussing new restrictions is important so voters understand the changed landscape in their state, it's more crucial than ever to keep voters enthusiastic and encourage voter participation
- Don't say voter suppression. Use simple, clear language to explain why new restrictive voting laws are harmful, by explaining that restrictive laws make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to have their say on Election Day.
- Call out politicians. There are plenty of examples of politicians targeting specific blocs of voters - for example, by creating purge lists, or admitting that photo ID laws will help a particular candidate win. Explaining that politicians are gaming our system convinces voters that these new laws are illegitimate.
- Use values-based language. Engage voters on their core values-like responsibility, fairness, equality, and freedom.
- Tell a story to evoke those values. No matter what party voters are from, or where they say they are on photo ID, humanizing the impacts of unfair voting restrictions resonates.
- Repeat it - again and again! It takes repetition, repetition, repetition to really change the public conversation. Find ways to incorporate the tips above into your messaging, pick the strongest message you can, rinse, and repeat!
(This information is also available in Spanish here)
If you experience discrimination at the polls be sure to call the Election Protection Hotline:
Election Protection Coalition