Battles over voter ID are raising concern across the nation just weeks away from the November 4 election. While Wisconsin implements its “eleventh hour” voter ID changes, potentially affecting thousands of voters, a new study looks at the potential impact of strict voter ID laws in Wisconsin and other states on thousands more citizens.
Dr. Jody Herman at the Williams Institute reports that 24,000 transgender citizens in 10 states with the nation’s strictest voting laws face “substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement” at the polls in November.
“Lawmakers should not overlook the consequences of enacting stricter voter ID laws on transgender voters,” said Herman in a press release last week. “Election officials must consider the potential impact of these laws in the upcoming November elections. Voter ID laws create a unique barrier for transgender people who would otherwise be eligible to vote.”
According to MSNBC:
“In 10 states where strict photo ID laws have passed, transgender voters who have transitioned and do not have updated ID will be required to present ID that does not accurately reflect their gender in order to vote,” wrote Dr. Jody Herman, manager of transgender research at the Williams Institute and author of the study. “In those cases, poll workers and election officials may decide that the ID presented does not match the voter, which could result in that vote not being counted.”
Furthermore, found Herman, “[w]hen presenting identification that did not accurately reflect their gender, many transgender respondents reported being harassed (41%), being asked to leave the venue where they presented the identification (15%), and being assaulted or attacked (3%.)” Herman’s research was based on data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS,) which was conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Read Herman’s study, “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2014 General Election,” here.
Just six years after Arizona was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for failure to comply with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), the state is once again neglecting its federal obligations to help low-income citizens register to vote through public assistance agencies.
Forty-ninth anniversaries don’t usually garner much attention, but today a 49th anniversary—though filled with pathos—is worth commemorating. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1964. Often called the “crown jewel” of the civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act has now lost a bit of its luster, tarnished by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.