We all know voting matters. Our elected officials have direct impacts on our lives, especially at the local level. But being transgender can often lead to anxiety when it is time to cast your vote.
I’m lucky enough to have voted without incident for several years, but I know that many in our community can’t say that. I want to make sure that everyone has the tools you need to successfully navigate voting in the upcoming primaries. So here are my best tips for “voting while trans.”
The early voting period begins February 20 and runs through March 2 for the primaries. During this period, you can vote at any polling location in your county—so use the polling place in the Gayborhood! Often, election officials at polling places in gay neighborhoods are more accepting of everyone who comes in. They know they’ll see a diverse crowd and want to help our community vote.
Know Your Options for ID
In Texas, you are required to present a photo identification if you have one when you vote in person. If you don’t have a photo ID, you can present your voter registration card or a utility bill in your name instead. You will be asked to sign a simple document stating that you do not have a photo ID. The election officials are not allowed to question why you do not have a photo ID or to prevent you from voting without a photo ID.
Vote by Mail
If you’ll be out of the county on election day, are over 65, or are sick or disabled, you can vote by mail. You can print a form to request your ballot and then mail in your completed ballot by election day.
Go in a Group
My friends and I often arrange a time when a group of us can go vote together. There is strength in numbers, and the power of being with friends while voting can help everyone feel supported.
The bottom line is, your vote is your voice! Don’t let anyone stop you from sharing it. Your elected officials need to hear from you. This is our time to be counted.
First Day of Early Voting – Feb 20, 2018
Last day to Apply for Ballot by Mail – Feb 23, 2018
Last Day of Early Voting – Mar 2, 2018
Last Day to Receive Ballot by Mail – Mar 6, 2018
Reprinted with permission from Equality Texas.