electionlineWeekly

Impacts of registration and ID laws on transgender voters
State elections officials strive to accommodate all voters

Voters come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages and gender. Most of that information, other than age, is irrelevant to a voter’s eligibility to register and cast a vote. However, for some voters, the question of gender on a voter registration form can present a problem.

According to a report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, in 2016, an estimated 0.6 percent of adults in the United States, or about 1.4 million individuals identify as transgender. Populations vary by state and by age group.

Hawaii, California, Georgia, and New Mexico all have 0.8 percent of their populations that identify as transgender where was North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota have just 0.3 percent of adults that identify as transgender.

More young adults, aged 18 to 24 identify as transgender (0.7 percent) than do those 65 and older (0.5 percent).

“We understand that collecting demographic information can sometimes be helpful, but we are unaware of any compelling reason to include gender in the voter registration process,” said Jay H. Wu, communications manager for the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Electionline reached out to the elections directors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and heard back from 34 of them and the District. Whether or not states collect gender information on voter registration forms varies with most of the responding states saying they do not request that information, or that it is optional. Read more…