LINCOLN, Neb – Today the ACLU of Nebraska, Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, Nebraskans for Civic Reform, Outlinc and the Professional Transgender Resource Network provided education to all county election officials and poll workers about voting access for transgender and gender non-conforming Nebraskans.
“Our democracy is best when all Nebraskans who are eligible to vote have access to our polls,” said Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska. “Our poll workers should be able to create a friendly, comfortable and accessible environment for all Nebraskans who want to cast a ballot. We hope that this guidance will allow more Nebraskans to feel comfortable going to their polling place on election day or their local election office to vote early. Nebraskans are fortunate to have hard working election officials and poll workers who ensure our elections are efficient and fair. We hope this guidance helps all Nebraska voters and those who assist Nebraska voters gain a better understanding of best practices to ensure every vote counts.”
While showing ID is not required in Nebraska to vote, the groups say that there are still ways that a poll worker could assume that a voter is transgender. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, only one-fifth of transgender people have been able to update all of their identity documents. This means that the name on a voting list might not match the name a person prefers to use in everyday life.
“For many people, they are just learning about what it means to be transgender,” said Dr. Jay Irwin with the Professional Transgender Resource Network which provides professional development for health care, legal and educational professionals who want to better serve their transgender clients. “These basic tips will help poll workers treat transgender voters with respect and echo what we know makes a doctor’s office or a classroom a more welcoming place for transgender people.”
“Over 60,000 Nebraskans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” said Abbigail Swatsworth, President of Outlinc. “Our transgender neighbors should have a voice in our democracy. Our elected leaders should not be able to overlook the needs and concerns of our transgender residents.”