Every vote matters, and your voice deserves to be heard. If you are transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming, you may have had problems in the past with someone questioning your identity because of your name, gender marker, or photo on your ID, or you may simply be nervous about whether this might happen. No one should question you about your identity, but this guide should help you if they do. We've compiled some Frequently Asked Questions for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming voters in Mississippi.
What if I don't look like my ID photo anymore?
Voters at the polls and by absentee ballot in person are required to show photo ID. You do not need to change your legal name on your identification to be able to vote. Updating your photo ID to accurately reflect your gender identity is helpful, but not necessary as long as the poll worker can identify that it is you in the photo. Varying clothing, makeup, or hairstyle on an ID photo is not a valid reason to deny a regular ballot. The photo on an ID may be outdated or reflect. different gender presentation and as long as you can be reasonably identified from the picture, the ID is valid for voting. Poll workers are not allowed to ask about your medical history, including your transition. Personal information is not relevant to your ability to vote.
If poll workers do not accept your ID, you can still cast your vote through an affidavit ballot An affidavit ballot will allow you five days to go to the county clerk's office and present an acceptable form of ID. See here for a list of forms of ID accepted in Mississippi.
What if my photo ID is expired?
You can still use an acceptable form of photo ID which is expired if it is not more than 10 years old.
What if I don't have any photo ID?
If you don't have an acceptable ID then you can get a free voter ID card at any Circuit Clerk's Office. If you need a ride, call 1-844-MSVOTER (1-844-6837). If the next election is within 45 days, you will receive a receipt for your Mississippi Voter Identification Card from the Circuit Clerk. The receipt may be used as your photo ID when voting at the polls.
What if my gender marker is different than my presentation?
When you show the poll worker a photo ID, they should not be looking at the gender marker to verify your identity. You do not need to change your gender on your ID to be able to vote. A poll worker cannot prevent you from voting just because you don't look like your picture or what the poll worker thinks you "should" look like based on your name or gender marker. Transgender voters may have an ID that indicates a different sex/gender than what they look like, but sex or gender discrepancies on an ID are not valid reasons to deny a regular ballot, or to indicate that the ID is invalid or fraudulent.
What if I have changed my name since I registered to vote?
If you changed your name or moved to a different address in the same county, you can update your voter registration information here. To update your voter registration, you must already be a registered Mississippi voter and have a valid driver's license or photo ID card issued by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. If you move to a new county, you must re-register to vote in that county.
You can check to see if you're registered under a specific name here.
If you re-register to vote under your new name, make sure you bring ID documents that match your new name and current address. Make sure you fill out your ballot and sign using the name listed on your voter registration.
How do I register to vote or update my voter registration?
Mississippi has in-person and by mail registration up to 30 days before an election. More information can be found here.
You can check to see if you're already registered here.
Tips for future elections: if yu update your driver's license, you can ask them to update your voter registration at the same time.
What happens if the poll worker still isn't letting me vote?
Show the "Poll Worker How-To Card" or digital graphic (below) to any election official who questions your right to vote.
Fight for your right to vote. If all else fails, demand to vote by affidavit ballot. If you cast an affidavit ballot, you must present an acceptable photo ID to the Circuit or Municipal Clerk's office within five business days after the election for your ballot to be counted. Voters who cast an affidavit ballot are entitled to receive written information at the time of voting on how to determine if your ballot was counted and, if not, why not. For more information about state election laws or Mississippi elections, visit Y'all Vote or call the Elections Division Hotline at 601-576-2550.
Then, call the National Election Protection Hotline and tell them what is going on.
- English: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- Español: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
- Asian & Pacific languages: 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683)
- Arabic: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
- American Sign Language video call number: 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683)
If you are refused the opportunity to vote, contact the ACLU of Mississippi at firstname.lastname@example.org.