From "The Advocate"--How States Disenfranchise Transgender Voters

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The Advocate ran a piece today on the ways in which some states--mostly red ones--actively work to hinder the voting rights of transgendered people--rules in place in those states boast strict photo identification rules, a challenge for those who can't obtain "valid" identification that matches their gender. Specifics from the story: "In states with strict photo ID requirements, individuals without such identification must provide an alternate form of ID and only then are allowed to vote in a provisional ballot. This is a frequent issue with transgender voters, as it is often difficult to obtain identification that matches one's gender identity — many states require gender reassignment surgery to alter the sex on one's driver's license. And often the names of transgender individuals change when they transition, which adds further complications. According to the Williams Institute report, 41% of transgender citizens who've transitioned reported not having an updated driver's license and 74% did not have an updated U.S. passport." Obviously, taking a variety of extra steps and having to jump through a variety of extra hoops is probably discouraging to potential voters. It is believed upwards of 25,000 people are affected by these photo requirements. This: "The Williams Institute believes 25,000 transgender voters are affected by strict photo ID laws in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. These voters may not reach the polls in the November 2012 election, where not only the president will be chosen, but hundreds of state and local decisions must be made." Makes you think a bit, doesn't it? Who knows how outcomes might change if those 25,000 people were allowed easier access to voting--the same kind of access most of us routinely take for granted.