Transgender voters face disenfranchisementSo that is easy to do so what’s the big deal?
Indiana Daily Student
By Melanie Metzman
September 30, 2016
State voter ID laws may create barriers for nearly 31 percent of transgender residents eligible to vote in Indiana.
Indiana has more than 18,000 eligible transgender voters, but at least 5,000 do not have accurate IDs for voting, according to a UCLA Williams Institute press release.
Many transgender people who have transitioned do not have identification that reflects their correct gender, Jody Herman, a Williams Institute scholar, wrote in the study, “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2016 Election.”
In order for voting-eligible transgender people to obtain the accurate IDs for voting, they must meet state and federal requirements to update IDs, according to the press release.
Well for us it is easy if you have enough money, but for those trans people living on the margins it can be near impossible.
These requirements vary widely by state or federal agency and can be difficult and costly to meet.For many of us getting the proper ID is a poll tax. We need to pay so many fees that many of us can’t afford and if you are lucky you live in a state that allows you to change your name or the gender on your IDs without surgery. In some states you cannot change your birth certificate and you must have surgery to change your gender on many of the state’s legal documents.
“Lawmakers and election officials should not overlook the impact on transgender voters when enacting voting restrictions based on identity documents,” Herman said in the press release. “Transgender people have unique, and sometimes insurmountable, burdens to obtaining accurate IDs for voting in states that require it.”
If a person transitioned and wanted to do a name-change, their identity documents are all implicated in the process. This includes driver’s licenses, passports and birth certificates, she said.
Transgender people of color, youth, students, people with low income, and people with disabilities are likely overrepresented among those who do not have an accurate ID for voting because they face additional barriers along with being transgender, according to the press release.
Here in Connecticut what you need to vote is either a government issued picture ID or a utility bill with your name and address on it. And you know what, we don’t have any cases of voter fraud and we know this because the Secretary of State’s office audits a random selections of towns to verify the integrity of the vote. What they do find a lot of is people moving and never bothering to remove their name from the voter registration but they don’t find that other people used their ID to vote.
In an article in the Washington Post they reported,
A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.What I worry more about are people like the person who questioned my legal ID with my picture, address and gender on it. I don’t worry at least here in Connecticut of the databases being hacked because all the towns use paper ballots which are then counted by machine; this way there is always the original ballots can be used to verify the count.
This year, News21 reviewed cases in Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Kansas, where politicians have expressed concern about voter fraud and found hundreds of allegations but few prosecutions between 2012 and 2016. Attorneys general in those states successfully prosecuted 38 cases of vote fraud, though other cases may have been litigated at the county level. At least one-third of those cases involved nonvoters, such as elections officials or volunteers. None of the cases prosecuted was for voter impersonation.
“Voter fraud is not a significant problem in the country,” Jennifer Clark of the Brennan Center told News21. “As the evidence that has come out in some recent court cases and reports and basically every analysis that has ever been done has concluded: It is not a significant concern.”
One of the things that I do not like is the ballot initiatives; I do not feel human rights should be put to the popular vote. The Civil Rights act would never have been enacted; women would never have the right to vote. And now in Massachusetts the far right wing conservatives are trying to get the public accommodation law reversed and they just might get it on the ballot.
Transgender law opponents say they have signatures for ballotSo our human rights could boil down to a popularity contest.
By Michael P. Norton, State House News Service
September 29, 2016
BOSTON -- Activists working to derail the new state law aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender individuals in public accommodations say volunteers have already gathered enough signatures to place a repeal measure on the 2018 ballot.
The ballot-question committee Keep MA Safe reported Wednesday that local clerks have certified nearly 33,000 signatures, more than the 32,375 required to ensure ballot access in 2018.
The committee said hundreds of volunteers, resisting "radical transgender policies," had collected more than 50,000 signatures over the past two months. The deadline to submit certified signatures to Secretary of State William Galvin's office is Oct. 6.
Announcing its signatures, Keep MA Safe wrote Wednesday: "Parents have been particularly alarmed to learn about this law, signed in early July, which would allow men to use the women's bathroom, locker room, shower or changing facility if they identify as female. There have already been incidents reported here in MA where women's privacy and safety in public accommodations were violated."