Equality Matters: Staying Informed on LGBTQ+ Voting Rights

November 1, 2022
Equality Matters: Staying Informed on LGBTQ+ Voting Rights

It may surprise you to learn there have been more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced nationwide this year according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of those 300-plus bills, approximately one-third are anti-transgender. With National Coming Out Day recently recognized on October 11, we are reminded of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, especially members who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming. Here are just a few ways to stay informed and prepared with Election Day just around the corner.

Businesses might start by considering the impact of these bills on their stakeholders, which can include their customers, business partners, and employees. Many companies are actively participating in efforts to stand against these bills in some measure to lead inclusively and stand together with the LGBTQ+ community. For example, earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom for All Americans announced that more than 200 major companies—including TriNet—have joined together to sign on to the Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation. Statement signatories are united in opposing the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, much of which specifically targets transgender youth, in states across the country.

Individuals can also take action by educating themselves and exercising their right to vote. Voting plays an important role in the path toward equality and learning about the laws impacting the rights of this community is critical to making a thoughtful voting decision. In order to stay informed, we encourage businesses and their employees alike to review the laws introduced in their own state or local communities. There are many ways to educate yourself online, including subscribing to trusted news outlets, reviewing the websites of organizations dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality such as the Human Rights Campaign or Freedom for All Americans, and accessing legislative trackers. For example, with this tracker created by the non-profit Freedom for All Americans, you can limit your review of issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community by category. The content on this website can help you identify issues specific to your state and within your voting area.

As bills impacting the transgender community are starting to become prevalent, it’s important for those within the community to be aware of certain factors that may impact their voting experience. Many states do not have regulations relating to whether your ID matches your gender identity or presentation, so this won’t affect your ability to cast your vote. However, there are some areas that are more restrictive than others. Currently, 35 states require an ID to vote, and 18 of those require a photo ID. As stricter voting laws have been enacted of the last two decades, some of them present a unique concern and issue relating to transgender people.

Many in this community may not have a form of ID that matches their gender identity, which can be difficult when trying to vote. Additionally, many people could face harassment when attempting to cast their ballots, or at least challenged because their gender expression differs from their ID. Check out our previous blog on helpful voting tips for the transgender community.

In order to ensure that everyone has the ability to vote on these important issues, we encourage you to review the National Center for Transgender Equality’s helpful webpage on updating state and federal ID records. You can search by state to determine rules and regulations relating to voting rights for the Transgender community. Additionally, we suggest that you review the Transform the Vote webpage for additional tips for #VotingWhileTrans.

We hope that with these tips, you can be better prepared to vote during this election season.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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