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Tea Party group trying to deny transgender voters

WASHINGTON -- A right-wing Tea Party organization devoted to electing Republicans called "True the Vote" is training its volunteer poll watchers to target transgender voters.

True the Vote's training manual features a transphobic image [seen at the right] that claims transgender people are fraudulent voters and should be denied the right to vote.

"It is disgraceful that True the Vote would try to thug anyone into not voting. True the Vote's true agenda is a shameful attempt to scare trans people away from participating in our democracy," said Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality.

Until this point, the concerted effort by right-wing, Tea Party groups to restrict voting rights with new Voter ID laws only inadvertently affected transgender voters. Only hours away from Election Day, the discovery of True the Vote's training manual marks a shift by right-wing groups to explicitly target transgender people and deny them a right to vote.

"Trans people are resilient," Keisling said. "For trans people, voting is not just a right and a responsibility, for us it is also an important part of how we are winning our equality. Scare tactics like this won't keep us from that."

NCTE urges all transgender and gender non-conforming voters, regardless of their party affiliation or political beliefs, to ignore True The Vote's shameful and un-American attacks, and vote this Election Day.

In case you are challenged, be prepared by bringing NCTE's "Voting While Trans Checklist" with you when you vote. The Checklist includes a message from NCTE to poll workers clarifying possible questions they may have about your identification.

If a poll worker or poll watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) immediately.

About NCTE

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.