Transgender woman was asked for ID to vote in Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Why activists are worried.

Charlotte Observer,  November 9, 2019

"Transgender advocates are fearful that a new state law requiring North Carolina voters to provide photo ID at the polls in 2020 will lead to discrimination — and potentially, disenfranchisement — against people who are gender nonconforming.

Polls workers will require implicit bias training, activists say, to avoid discrimination. They’re worried because many gender nonconforming people are often unable to afford legal name changes, including on driver’s licenses.

During Tuesday’s election, a transgender woman was asked to show her ID at a polling station in Cornelius, though the law is not yet in effect, WSOC first reported Friday.

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The woman was ultimately able to vote, he said. But Dickerson said the incident signals all poll workers need to be cognizant of individuals who may have altered their appearance, including by transitioning

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Many transgender people may choose to stay home on Election Day to avoid confrontation and violence, said Kelli Baron, president of Transcend Charlotte, a nonprofit organization that supports gender diverse people.

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[Ames Simmons, the policy at director at Equality North Carolina] suggested that transgender individuals research and know their rights before they head to polling stations.

'People will feel more confident if they know what actions they can take, both right there in the minute, as well as election protection that’s available after the fact,' he said."

 

 

By Alison Kuznitz

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Hannah Piercey

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