We often talk about black and Latino voters, elderly and student voters, women and those with low incomes as having trouble satisfying new photo voter ID mandates, but many transgender voters will have an incredibly tough set of challenges before them if they are to have their vote counted in November. The cost of getting the appropriate ID to vote in some jurisdictions will be as high as getting surgery.
The photo voter ID laws are already unnecessary intrusions into the lives of many people of color. Those intrusions become an epic accumulation of burdens, though, for transgender, people of color.
Department of Justice Declares South Carolina Voter ID Law Discriminatory
South Carolina cited the need to prevent voter fraud, a problem that many conservatives have long claimed was widespread, but the state was unable to provide ample evidence of such action to convince Assistant Attorney General Perez.
from The Washington Post:
In its first decision on the laws, Justice’s Civil Rights Division said South Carolina’s statute is discriminatory because its registered minority voters are nearly 20 percent more likely than whites to lack a state-issued photo ID. Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, South Carolina is one of a number of states that are required to receive federal “pre-clearance” on voting changes to ensure that they don’t hurt minorities’ political power.
“The absolute number of minority citizens whose exercise of the franchise could be adversely affected by the proposed requirements runs into the tens of thousands,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said in a letter to South Carolina officials.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called the decision “outrageous” and said she plans to seek “every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th Amendment rights.”
Related: The League of Women voters recently debunked several of the most common myths about voter fraud, including the common misconception that it’s a widespread problem.
(image courtesy of Willamette Week/USJF/Recent Issue Today)