Defending Democracy, News

Equality NC opposes voter ID amendment

Equality NC and the National Center for Transgender Equality are encouraging voters to reject the proposed Voter ID amendment to the state constitution.

The groups are also looking to illuminate the ways in which such amendments disproportionately harm transgender people.

The groups highlight results from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), which found 29% of transgender adults living in North Carolina were living in poverty.

That’s more than twice the poverty rate among adults nationally (12%) and adults in North Carolina (14%).

In a press release on the subject, Equality NC Policy Director Ames Simmons talked about the problems transgender and gender nonconforming people have getting a photo ID that matches their gender identity.

“Because trans people face obstacles to obtaining accurate photo ID, reintroducing these harmful requirements in North Carolina could make it harder for thousands of transgender North Carolinians to vote,” Simmons said. “You don’t need a photo ID to vote in the November 2018 election, but it’s during this election that voters will decide whether it’ll be required in the future–vote NO.”

Kendrea Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, called the amendment another way of controlling whose voice is heard in elections.

“In states with voter ID laws already in place, 57% of trans people are estimated to face substantial barriers to voting,” Johnson said. “The goal for our laws should be to increase civic engagement — not prevent it.”

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