Woman who is transgender files lawsuit after allegedly asked to show photo ID to vote

Updated: Feb. 12, 2020 at 6:31 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County and State Board of Elections have been hit with a lawsuit after a woman, who is transgender, says she was forced to show her photo identification card in order to vote.

In North Carolina, voters are currently not required to show photo ID when casting their ballots, But this woman claims election officials asked her to provide one anyways.

“I was disrespected, I was frowned upon, I was outcasted and I felt like I was on trial, for something I never did wrong. All I did was want to vote,” the woman said.

This woman didn’t want to show her face or give out her name. She says in Nov. 2019, she tried to vote curbside at the Cornelius Town Hall precinct. This is the same location she says she’s been voting at since she was 18.

“She said well, it’s a requirement for you, that you show your ID," the woman says the chief judge of the polling location told her. “And so I said, well I have a question, Is it because I am transgender?”

The woman says the chief judge started to raise her voice at her, minutes later the woman gave the judge her ID.

“In that incident, we were trying to prove that, we were making sure that we were giving the ballot to the right person," Director of Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, Michael Dickerson said. “If you’re transitioning through something like that change your name so that I don’t have something different on the registration that my person is looking at.”

But the woman says her name on her driver’s license and her voter registration did match. The woman said the judge noted the woman’s drivers license listed the name and gender of a male, yet the photo on her driver’s license looked like a woman.

Dickerson says the chief judge was just trying to do her job of maintaining the integrity of the voting process.

“If there’s something different, then offer that to the chief, say ‘well, jeez I had a treatment or something like that, that’s why something’s different, I’ve done something different,’ you just want to offer something to help that chief judge get through the process. Like I say, I applaud her for making sure maintains the integrity, but at the same time she said, ‘hey great, lets let her vote,’” Dickerson said.

A WBTV reporter asked if that woman’s vote was counted, even after the process she had to go through. Dickerson claims her vote was counted.

The WBTV reporter also asked him if Mecklenburg County has ever had a similar situation as this woman experienced. Dickerson says this is the first case that he can remember.

Dickerson also says he believes this case could cause the state board of elections to look at how they handle the voter identification process in the future. He says he’s open accessing changes that need to be made.

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