News (USA)

NCTE: Tea Party group training poll watchers to target transgender voters

A right-wing, Tea Party organization called “True the Vote” is training their volunteer poll watchers to target transgender voters, claims the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

According to a statement issued Sunday, the NCTE alleged that True the Vote’s training manual features a transphobic image that claims transgender people are fraudulent voters and should be denied the right to vote.

“It is disgraceful that True the Vote would try to thug anyone into not voting,” said Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director. “True the Vote’s true agenda is a shameful attempt to scare trans people away from participating in our democracy.”

Until this point, the concerted effort by right-wing, tea party groups to restrict voting rights with new Voter ID laws only inadvertently affected transgender voters. Only days away from Election Day, the discovery of True the Vote’s training manual marks a shift by right-wing groups to explicitly target transgender people and deny them a right to vote.

“Trans people are resilient,” said Keisling. “For trans people, voting is not just a right and a responsibility, for us it is also an important part of how we are winning our equality. Scare tactics like this won’t keep us from that.”

The NCTE advises transgender and gender non-conforming voters to be prepared by downloading their “Voting While Trans Checklist” to take with them to the polls.

The checklist includes a message from NCTE to poll workers clarifying possible questions they may have about your identification.

If a poll worker or poll watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, voters should call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

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