Voting Rights for Transgender People
I wanted to make sure everyone saw this important info put out by the National Center for Transgender Equality:
At NCTE, we believe in the importance of voting and we believe that it makes a difference in our work for transgender equality. People in elected offices make decisions that directly impact our ability to pass legislation that will protect you against discrimination and seek to decrease the violence our community faces.
Transgender people, however, sometimes face discrimination at the polls. In order to help you exercise your right to vote, NCTE is reissued our Guide to Overcoming Voting Obstacles to help you overcome any barriers to voting that you encounter. The Guide also addresses additional challenges that some transgender voters face, such as racism, felony conviction and homelessness.
More after the jump…
TRANSGENDER PEOPLE AND OUR VOTES
You have the right to vote!
You are only required to provide enough information at the polls to prove that you are the person listed on the voting records; many states only require identification for first time voters.
Note that in 13 states, there are more restrictive identification requirements, but even in these states, you should not be afraid to vote. If you live in one of these states (AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, MI, MO, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA), you can find specific useful information for your state from People for the American Way at http://site. pfaw.org/ site/PageServer? pagename= voterid_toolkits.
If your current appearance or name does not match the name listed on the voting records, bring copies of your current and old IDs, any court orders changing your name and gender, or physician letters. Do not provide more information than is necessary. You may be more comfortable voting early, where it is available, because the polls may be less crowded and you’ll have more time to speak with poll workers about your particular situation.
See our Guide to Overcoming Voter Obstacles for specific information and contact one of the hotlines below if you encounter problems.
Remember that you have the right to:
• Vote for any candidate you wish to
• Get additional information, such as viewing a sample ballot and receiving instructions on how to vote
• Be assisted at the polls by the person of your choice if you need assistance in order to vote
• Vote by provisional ballot if your name does not appear on the poll list or if you are denied a ballot; you are also entitled to written information about how to find out if your provisional vote was counted
• A replacement ballot if you make a mistake or damage the ballot
• Vote if you are in line when the polls close
• In some jurisdictions, you are also entitled to written information and assistance in a language other than English
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM AT THE POLLS
If you are not on the rolls or are denied a ballot for any reason, request and complete a provisional ballot before leaving your polling place. The non-partisan Election Protection Coalition has a free hotline to provide you with assistance (administered by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law). 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-866-687-8683, www.866ourvote.org. Contact them right away for assistance.
The Election Protection Coalition is made up of a wide range of groups including the NAACP, ACLU, American Bar Association, Asian American Justice Center, Common Cause, Native Vote, National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Council of Jewish Women, National Center for Lesbian Rights, United States Student Association and many more.
Everyone has the right to vote- make sure you know your rights and the facts!