A transgender woman says she was forced by poll workers to show her ID in Cornelius, North Carolina because her “name didn’t match her face.”
Currently, it’s not required for a person to provide identification before registering to vote, receiving a ballot, or to actually vote in elections in North Carolina, however an amendment set to be implemented in 2020, does require ID to vote.
According to WSOC-TV the unidentified trans woman went to the ballot box earlier this week at the Cornelius Town Hall precinct.
“The chief judge came out and said, ‘I need ID,’ and I said, ‘What is the issue?’” the woman told the outlet. “[She] then says to me, ‘The issue is your face doesn’t match your name.’ I said, ‘Why must you see my ID when it’s not a requirement?’ She looks at me, eyeball to eyeball, [and says], ‘For you, it’s a requirement.’ I said, ‘Well, why me? Is it because I’m transgender?’”
According to WSOC-TV the woman noted that she isn’t a felon, is over the age of 18 and has “voted in every election since she’s been eligible.”
The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections admitted to making a mistake with the county’s Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson saying staff shouldn't have asked for her ID and is planning to implement sensitivity training all workers. “This is an excellent time to not just single someone out, but say, ‘We all need to be aware of this,’” Dickerson said.
Last year Equality NC and the National Center for Transgender Equality opposed the voter ID amendment to the state constitution, saying that it “could make it harder for thousands of transgender North Carolinians to vote.”
“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,” said Equality NC Policy Director Ames Simmons.
“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.”