The state of California is going out of its way to make sure that transgenders, who comprise .6 percent of the U.S. population, have help from poll workers when their inability to accept their natural gender turns into an inability to vote without help.
The state does not require voters to provide identification, as one must to drive a car or even check out a library book. Its voting system, which has heavily favored the election of Democrats, has been called bizarre and been shown to allow double voting through a “serious procedural flaw.”
All poll workers in California will be trained on how to properly interact with and assist transgender and “gender-nonconforming” voters when they cast ballots, according to a news release from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), who said his office is partnering with the Equality California Institute ahead of next year’s presidential primary.
The training will provide county registrars with materials detailing best practices for assisting voters whose “gender identity, expression, or pronouns don’t match their name on the voter rolls,” according to the release.
Many transgender and “gender-nonconforming” voters may be registered under a name that does not match their “gender presentation.”
Clear signage such as brochures and posters regarding voters’ rights will also be present at all polling locations.
The move, the first of its kind in the country, is an attempt to accommodate the 218,400 Californians who identify as transgender, according to data from by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law provided in the release.
“Elections officials have a duty to facilitate the participation of all eligible voters. By partnering with Equality California we can benefit from their expertise and experience to better train poll workers and ensure a welcoming voting environment for LGBTQ citizens. California is proud to be proactive in protecting the voting rights of LGBTQ voters and fostering an inclusive democracy,” Padilla said in the release.
“No one should be denied the right to vote because of their gender identity or expression — and there’s certainly too much at stake next year to let that happen in California,” Equality California Institute Executive Director Rick Zbur said in the news release.
The training and instructional material will be in place as California votes in the presidential primary on March 3.