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Voting and transgender people

In most countries, trans and gender diverse citizens enjoy the same voting rights as everyone else. Unfortunately, some countries make the process more difficult for our community. Being deprived of a right like this is called voter suppression or disenfranchisement.

The primary way trans and gender diverse people are denied their right to vote is through Voter ID laws, which often have legal requirements that place an undue burden on trans and gender diverse people.

Some trans and gender diverse people find the process of changing legal identity documents complicated, expensive, and embarrassing. There are people who can help you if it is too hard. Some will even help you for free.

The basics

Adult US citizens who already made a legal name and gender change and changed their identity documents can visit Can I Vote for information on:

  • how and when to register and vote
  • how to change name and gender on an existing registration

Steps to register and vote in the USA

Adult US citizens can register to vote where they legally reside.

  • Service members, their families, and overseas citizens should consult the Federal Voting Assistance Program (

Step 1: Register to vote

For first-time voters:

  • Before you can vote, you must be registered to vote in most US states and territories.
  • Many places have a registration deadline before the next election. Be sure to register as soon as you are ready.
  • You register in the state or territory where you legally reside.
  • Many young adults in college or training are still legally residing with their parents, even if the school is in another state. Your legal residence is usually the address you list on your tax return.
  • The legal name you use to register must match the legal name on your government identification documents.
  • Some states have “motor voter” laws that allow you to register when you apply for or renew your driver’s license or state ID. Some states allow you to change your name and gender on a driver’s license without getting a court order for name change.
  • If you have not changed your name and gender legally, here is how to make a legal name and gender change and change identity documents.
  • Many states allow you to register with a political party affiliation. This allows you to vote in primary elections. You can also usually choose independent or no affiliation.

For voters registered under an old name and/or gender:

  • All states and territories have a way for you to update your registration.
  • States and territories often have options for doing this online, by phone, by mail, or in person.
  • You will probably need a government-issued ID that reflects your new name and gender.

Check if you are eligible to vote

  • To avoid a problem with your ballot, you can confirm you are registered.
  • You can contact the elections office in your county or parish by searching its name and “voter registration”

Step 2: Vote

Most states and territories offer several ways to vote.

Voting by mailed ballot (recommended)

  • Some states mail all registered voters a ballot. In other states you must request one.
  • This used to be called an “absentee” ballot.
  • This allows you to take your time filling out your ballot.
  • Your completed ballot can be done at home and mailed back at no cost to you.
  • You can complete it and mail it back any time, but it must be postmarked before polls close on Election Day.
  • You can drop it in any US Post Office mailbox or give it to a postal worker at the Post Office.
  • Some states have other places where you can drop off your ballot in person. Check with your county or parish for options.

Early voting in person (recommended)

  • Most (but not all) states offer early in-person voting.
  • A few states offer early voting for 7 days or fewer.
  • Most (but not all) offer it for more than 7 days.
  • This map shows what each state allows.
  • Early voting usually takes less time and is less stressful than voting on Election Day.

Voting in person on Election Day

  • All states and territories allow this.
  • Some trans and gender diverse people prefer to vote in person to be sure that there will not be a problem with their ballot.
  • Your voter information packet mailed to you before Election Day should show where you need to go to vote. You can also use this Polling Place Locator maintained by or contact your state or local elections office.
  • Things to bring:
    • The kind of ID that is required
    • Your voter registration confirmation document (this can help)
    • A utility bill showing your name and the address where you are registered (this can help)
    • Other IDs if you have them, like a passport, social security card, birth certificate (this can help)
    • The Voting While Trans PDF, printed or on your phone, to show to poll workers (this can help)
  • You may have to wait in line, especially if you go to the polls later on Election Day.
  • If there is still an issue, you can request a provisional ballot. That way you can vote while you are there.

If you need help

Many larger cities offer services to help voters register and vote, many of which are free. Search your city or county name online.

Many local LGBT centers, including college and university centers, can help you for free. For example, the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center in Los Angeles opened the first US transgender voting center in 2024.

If you are affiliated with a political party, contact the local office, and they can help you with the process:

US Election Assistance Commission (

If you do not have a way to get to your polling place to vote in person, many organizations and apps offer free or discounted rides.

  • Rideshare2Vote ( offers accessible transportation options
  • Uber has offered Drive the Vote on Election Day
  • Lyft has offered LyftUp on Election Day


Factora, James (March 5, 2024). The Country’s First-Ever Trans Voting Center Is Now Open in Los Angeles. them.


Advocates for Trans Equality ( and (

  • Voting rights
  • Voting While Trans (PDF)

National Association of Secretaries of State (

Election Protection (

  • States

Federal Voting Assistance Program (

  • Voting assistance for Service members, their families, and overseas citizens ( (

Rock the Vote (

Vote 411 (

VoteRiders (

  • Includes a US map of voting restrictions by state

This is legal talk, not legal advice. Some of this may not apply in your case. You must do your own research.