NBC: Trans people could be disenfranchised when trying to vote

Source: Hot Air

You’ve likely already heard all of Stacey Abrams’ complaints about minority voter suppression, despite Black Georgians once again breaking records for early voting this year. But racial minorities aren’t the only favored groups that will be allegedly facing problems when they attempt to vote, at least according to our betters in the mainstream media. NBC News has decided to crunch some numbers and determined that transgender voters might be turned away at the polls in large numbers, with as many as 200,000 people being “at risk” next week. The culprit in this evil-sounding scheme is not some group of nefarious Republicans passing anti-trans voting laws, however. NBC places the blame on voter ID laws, claiming that it’s too hard for trans people to have identification that matches their “identity” in states that require ID to cast a ballot.

While trans people may face barriers to voting in dozens of states, Tennessee is one of eight where they could face particularly challenging obstacles at the polls this month because of both strict voter ID laws and a simmering culture war, in which transgender people have been thrust to the forefront. This year alone, more than 160 state bills to restrict trans rights have been proposed across the country, according to the ACLU.

“People who might be inclined to harass marginalized voters at the polls are more aware of trans people’s existence,” said Olivia Hunt, the policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality. “So I expect that we’re going to hear more stories of trans people being harassed, whether by voters, poll workers, poll monitors or other folks who are present during the election.”

The primary example of this sort of “disenfranchisement” that NBC came up with was a Tennessee voter named Henry Seaton who is a female-to-male transgender resident. Seaton claims that poll workers inspected the voter ID that was presented and raised questions because the picture on the ID appeared to show a male while the gender was listed as female. Seaton claims to have been forced to “out myself as transgender” and feared possible harassment or worse.

You have to read quite a way further down in the article to learn a few more things about this incident. First of all, Seaton is listed as “a transgender justice advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.” Also, after the ID was examined, Seaton was allowed to vote without any issues. Several other trans people are featured in this lengthy article, but not one of them claimed that they weren’t actually allowed to vote. If it had actually happened, it seems like NBC would have been shouting that from the rooftops, doesn’t it?

Most of the article is just another lengthy diatribe condemning the idea of voter ID laws, listing the various states where that requirement exists. Using the trans angle is just another way to claim that “underrepresented minorities” are disproportionately “harmed” by such laws.

The reality is that every state has provisions for people to have valid forms of identification for many purposes beyond just voting. You are legally allowed to change your name and obtain a new ID (as many transgender people, including Seaton, do every year) but the process is intentionally laborious. It’s not supposed to be easy to simply declare that you have a totally different name so you can escape your creditors or other obligations.

If any transgender person wants to change their name and follows the legal process to do so, they can. And they will need to update their voter registration to reflect that name change just like any other non-trans person would have to. But if you just wake up one day and announce that everyone needs to start calling you Sally instead of Harry and don’t bother to take the steps to legally change your name and get a new matching identification card, don’t complain if your invalid ID isn’t accepted when you go to vote. It’s really just as simple as that.