Vote with Pride

VoteRiders and HeadCount launch #TransPeopleVote, helping transgender and non-binary voters get the IDs they need to vote.

In observance of Pride Month 2021, VoteRiders and HeadCount’s Vote With Pride initiative launched the Trans People Vote campaign to help transgender and non-binary voters around the country get the IDs they need to vote. HeadCount is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes participation in democracy through music, culture and digital media.

“Many people who are transgender or non-binary must go through state-specific steps to change their name and gender marker for their voter IDs to be valid,” said Kathleen Unger, VoterRiders Founder and President. “This process can be complex and become a real barrier to voting. Now, at and with VoteRiders’ assistance if needed, voters can secure the guidance they need to help them navigate the bureaucratic maze and obtain critical documents. By acting now, these citizens will be ready to vote in the many elections that are happening this year, in 2022 and beyond.”

To provide accurate and clear information, VoteRiders engaged a group of pro bono attorneys to review requirements in each state that affect transgender and non-binary individuals. Initially, this research focused on the 22 states with the most challenging path to changing a legal name and meeting ID requirements to cast a ballot. Instructions for other states are being added through the summer. Color-coded maps, explanations of voting laws by state, state ID laws, and more information are available at the website, along with directions on how to call or text VoteRiders for help.

“This work with VoteRiders is core to HeadCount’s mission to make elections accessible for all voters,” said Andy Bernstein, Executive Director of HeadCount. “Together, we can reach transgender voters and help them overcome ID barriers that may prevent them from voting.”

As VoteRiders’ partner in this initiative, HeadCount brings more than 40,000 volunteers who have helped register more than one million voters. Working with celebrity partners and artists like Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, and Beyonce, HeadCount attends more than 1,000 live events each year as well as providing all-digital initiatives to empower people to use their voices in democracy.

As a group, the LGBTQ+ population is frequently disenfranchised from the voting process, and is vulnerable to intimidation and confusion.

  • Among Generation Z, one in six individuals identify as LGBTQ+. Engaging this population in voting is critical for the future of our democracy.
  • At least two million voting-eligible LGBTQ+ Americans are not registered to vote.
  • Sixty percent of states do not have an “X” gender marker option on driver’s licenses, excluding non-binary people from using these IDs.
  • An estimated 260,000 trans people did not have an ID that correctly reflected their name and/or gender to use in the 2020 presidential election.
  • One in four transgender people report verbal harassment when showing an ID with a name or gender that did not match their gender representation.
  • Two out of five youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ+ and facing the challenge of registering to vote without a home address.

This latest chapter in VoteRiders’ quest to help every American citizen exercise their right to vote will reach an especially disenfranchised group of potential voters.

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Guest Post by Joy Scott