Iowa House Passes Voter ID Bill Disenfranchising Transgender Voters

On Thursday, March 9, the Iowa House passed HF 516, a bill that requires voters to present photo identification documents at the polls. The bill passed with a 58-41 vote.

One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel issued a statement on the bill’s passage.

“This bill disenfranchises many Iowa voters who may be members of the LGBTQ community like people of color, people with disabilities, elderly people, and others in the name of solving a problem that does not exist,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “Transgender Iowans will face unique challenges at the polls if this bill becomes law due to how difficult obtaining identity documents that accurately reflect their gender can be. We are appalled that the Iowa House has chosen to make it far more difficult and potentially dangerous for some of their constituents to exercise the right to vote.”

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 40 percent of transgender citizens who are publicly out as transgender do not have a driver’s license that accurately reflects their gender, and 74 percent do not have an updated U.S. passport that accurately reflects their gender. Additionally, respondents to the survey reported being harassed (41 percent), being asked to leave (15 percent), and being assaulted or attacked (3 percent) after presenting identification documents that didn’t accurately reflect their gender, a situation transgender Iowans may find themselves in if HF 516 becomes law.