A new study says that 21% of LGBTQ adults are not registered to vote—compared to an estimated 17% of non-LGBTQ adults.
According to the study released this week by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Williams Institute, “Some LGBTQ voters already face an uphill battle making their voices heard at the ballot box.”
“Voter suppression has primarily targeted voters of color, who also happen to include LGBTQ Americans, who far too often face disproportionate barriers in accessing their right to vote,” Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David told the Washington Post after HRC, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ rights, backed a voting-rights initiative led by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
David said, voter-ID laws in some states requiring that a person’s documentation match their birth-assigned gender could preclude a transgender person from casting a ballot. While about 137,000 transgender people who had transitioned in the U.S. were eligible to vote ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, more than half might not have had documentation or ID that correctly reflected their gender, the Williams Institute found in August 2018.
Market Watch said: “The Williams Institute analysis comes ahead of a high-stakes election in which civil-rights protections for LGBTQ people could hang in the balance. The Equality Act, a bill that would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in credit, housing, employment and a range of other areas, passed earlier this year in the Democrat-led House. Activists believe that turning the Republican-led Senate blue in 2020 would boost the bill’s chances of being signed into law.”
“LGBT voters differ from non-LGBT voters in several ways. For example, they are more likely to be young, male, and live in urban areas,” study author Christy Mallory, the Williams Institute’s state and local policy director, added in a statement. “LGBT voters are also more likely to identify with the Democratic Party. Over four million LGBT Democrats are eligible to vote in the primaries next year.”