Tough ID laws could disenfranchise 78,000 transgender voters in midterms: study
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Strict voter ID laws in eight U.S. states could lead to the disenfranchisement of more than 78,000 voting-eligible transgender people in the upcoming midterm elections, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by the University of California Los Angeles' Williams Institute, said tough photo ID laws could pose "substantial barriers" to transgender voters in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Those states require voters to present a government-issued photo ID. 

According to the report, 34 states have laws that require voters to show a valid form of ID to prove their identities at the polls. 


NBC News reports that the estimation is based, in part, on the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. The survey revealed that just 11 percent of the nearly 28,000 respondents said that all of their IDs and records listed both their preferred name and gender. 

“Transgender people who have transitioned often face substantial challenges to obtaining accurate identification,” the Williams report's lead author, Jody L. Herman, told NBC News. “Requirements for updating the name and gender on official IDs that could be used for voting vary widely by state and federal agency, and the process can be difficult and expensive.”

The report also found that voter ID laws impact the most marginalized people in the transgender community, such as people of color and people with disabilities.