When Madeleine Croll is working as an election judge somewhere around Hidalgo County, in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, she makes sure to let people in her community know. Part of her oath of office as Democratic party precinct chair involved getting trained as an election judge—someone who monitors polling locations around the state, solving any disputes that may come up throughout an election day, like whether a certain ID is valid or not.
Texas’s voter identification law, one of the most expensively defended in the country, went into effect in 2013, and while it includes no mention of ID gender needing to match gender presentation, misguided (and sometimes malicious) poll workers are occasionally known to bloat the law’s jurisdiction. But not when Croll is working. As the first transgender Texan elected to a precinct chair position, she’s able to properly interpret what the law says, separate that from what some who defend it hopes it will do, and make sure everyone who can vote does.
Texas is one of 36 states that requires some form of ID to vote. Voter ID laws are an almost exclusively a Republican-led effort, a popular way to combat the red herring of rampant voter fraud, and, in practice, a highly effective way to disenfranchise trans and non-white voters. Several studies have found that such laws skew elections toward the right.
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