In 2012, as many as 25,000 transgender Americans faced having their right to vote challenged or taken away as a result of recently-enacted stricter photo ID laws. According to UCLA's Williams Institute, 41% of transgender Americans reported not having updated their driver's license and 74% did not update their passport. Furthermore, 27% or respondents said that they do not have any form of ID that lists their current gender. Without proper documents in certain states, you will not be allowed to vote.
While trans Americans face challenges every day trying to secure ID’s that accurately reflect who they are, it is important to understand the impact voter ID laws will have during the upcoming election cycle. Just like their peers who are not trans, trans Americans have the right to vote and should be allowed to do so.
Treat trans people with respect and dignity. They have the same rights as any other American citizen, though are sometimes excluded for exercising them.
Use first-person accounts of members of the transgender community being denied the ability to vote. This personifies the story and makes it easier for readers to relate.
Call out politicians who support the stricter voter ID laws but fail to recognize their impacts on the transgender community's right and ability to vote.
Resources for journalists
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Williams Institute
- Best practices for covering trans people