Florida Election Officials Must Do More to Make Transgender Voters Feel Safe at the Polls

TALLAHASSEE  A coalition of voting rights and LGBTQ advocacy groups today urged Florida elections officials to adopt a set of recommended practices that will allow transgender voters to feel safe while casting their votes. Transgender voters have expressed fears about being misgendered by poll workers or being denied access to the ballot because their gender expression does not match their photo identifications, among other worries like voter intimidation.

In their letter sent to supervisors of elections throughout Florida, the groups offered to provide free inclusivity training for their offices. The letter calls on the officials to implement the following practices to improve polling locations for transgender voters:

  • Institute a non-discrimination policy for poll workers that includes no tolerance for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression.
  • Include specific education and training on how to ensure voters whose gender expression does not match their picture ID are able to cast their vote when voting in person.
  • Encourage poll workers to display LGBTQ-friendly symbols such as pins and/or name tags with the name and pronouns of the individual.
  • Display LGBTQ Safe Zone decals on polling locations. These can be obtained through partnerships with local LGBTQ organizations, and agencies with LGBTQ inclusivity programs.
  • Partner with local LGBTQ organizations to promote voter registration and updates to voter registration, promote poll worker recruitment, and to educate voters about their voting options and rights.

The full letter, sent before Tuesday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, can be found here and was signed by the following organizations:

All Voting is Local Florida, ACLU Florida, Center For Artistic Activism, Chispa Florida, Contigo Fund, Del Ambiente, Democracy For All, Divas in Dialogue, Equality Florida, Florida Conservation Voters, Gender Advancement Project, Hope CommUnity Center, Human Rights Campaign, La Mesa Boricua de Florida, One Orlando Alliance, Peer Support Space, QLatinx, R.I.S.E. Initiative, and The Bros in Convo Initiative