According to an August report by the Williams Institute at UCLA, over 78,000 transgender Americans could be prevented from voting this November. However, one organization is doing everything they can to make sure that trans folks can fight for their rights at the ballot.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) launched a new campaign on Thursday called Transform The Vote, which might be the first national effort aimed at getting trans voters to the polls for the 2018 midterm election. The movement uses registration drives, phone banking, and a national awareness campaign to bolster a national trans presence at the polls. The campaign will also feature celebrities such as Supergirl‘s newest trans superhero, Nicole Maines and reality TV star Jazz Jennings.
The campaign couldn’t be more necessary today — the ACLU’s legislative tracker shows that nearly specifically anti-transgender bills have been proposed in states around the country this year alone, in addition to dozens more that target the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. This doesn’t even include the protections that have already been stripped away by the Trump administration, including protection for trans kids in schools, trans healthcare restrictions, and inclusion in the military.
“The trans community recognizes the registering to vote and voting on election day matters to their lives, their happiness, their ability to be equal members of society,” said Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Director of External Relations for the NCTE Action Fund.
The fund is currently endorsing three candidates: Vermont Democratic gubernatorial nominee Christine Hallquist, Massachusetts congressional candidate Alexandra Chandler, and New York legislative candidate Melissa Sklarz — all of which are trans women. But this does not mean that the fund is ruling out endorsing cisgender candidates.
“We’re looking for candidates who are standing up for trans equality and who are for policies and other momentous shifts that we’ve been seeing in terms of our rights and in terms of social acceptance, and standing behind those candidates reflecting those values,” Freedman-Gurspan said.