Strict Voter ID Laws Threaten the Franchise of Trans Americans

Pacific Standard Magazine,  June 28, 2019

"Largely overlooked in the public debate and court hearings on Voter ID laws is their effect on another demographic: the transgender community. North Carolina's new laws could put barriers in the path of trans people trying to vote. The Williams Institute at the University of California–Los Angeles School of Law estimated in 2018 that strict voter ID laws in eight states stood to disenfranchise upwards of 78,000transgender people that year. With North Carolina becoming yet the newest state to enact equally strict voter ID laws, the number could have become much larger for 2020 without the quiet and intentional activism of a small group of transgender people and allies.

As the state made ID laws stricter, the North Carolina trans community, motivated in part by fear of what was coming, worked to ameliorate the process for changing genders on drivers' licenses. Since January, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has significantly eased the process and allows anyone to change their sex on their driver's license; the change still requires endorsement, but that can come from a variety of officials, including case workers, social workers, physicians, physician's assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed therapists, or counselors."


By Caleb Gayle


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Hannah Piercey