Entries in Voters (3)


Study: Transgendered Voters May Face Discrimination at the Polls

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A study from the Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank at the University of Los Angeles, estimates that about 25,000 transgender Americans could be disenfranchised in the upcoming election because of a patchwork of voter ID laws.

And it's not just voter ID requirements that are the problem.

Poll workers have discretion in giving voters a regular ballot or a provisional ballot, and bias could still affect who gets to vote. Provisional ballots can also be counted differently from regular ones.

Voter laws vary from state to state, but according to the Williams Institute study, voters will face the most complex requirements in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Four of those states -- Georgia, Kansas, Indiana and Tennessee -- have strict photo ID requirements in addition to laws that require sex reassignment surgery before birth certificates or licenses can be updated.

Studies on the transgender community have also found that they are more often than not economically disadvantaged and are more likely to change addresses or even be homeless, making it harder to register to vote.

When it's difficult to get ID -- for financial, medical or other reasons -- it's hard to cast a ballot, according to Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, which is on a mission to get transgender Americans to the polls. Some get so discouraged they stop trying.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obesity and Bullying Top Voters' Child Health Concerns

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- The economy dominates this election season but it’s not the only issue that Americans are worried about.

With the Supreme Court ready to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, voters are thinking about health care reform and what’s on the top of their list of concerns.

According to a new University of Michigan study, 2,100 adults were told to pick the topic related to children’s health that they want the presidential candidates to address.

Number one on the list out of 24 common concerns turned out to be childhood obesity, with bullying a close second. These issues were followed by teenage drug use and child abuse and neglect.

Matthew Davis of the University of Michigan said adults' political party affiliation or race/ethnicity did not factor in their picks, adding, “These are common issues that we can agree on, no matter your choice of presidential candidates.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Polling Location May Influence Vote, Study Finds

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WACO, Texas) -- A new study adds to growing evidence that where you vote might affect how you vote.

When asked about gun laws, the death penalty and climate change, people responded with more conservative views if a church was nearby, the study found.

"One of most common polling places in the United States is a church," said Jordan LaBouff, a psychology lecturer at the University of Maine and lead author of the study published in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. "This study definitely demonstrates it can change attitudes.  The extent to which those attitudes change how people behave at the ballot box is the next question."

LaBouff and colleagues from Baylor University surveyed 99 people outside either religious or nonreligious landmarks in London and Maastricht, Netherlands.  Regardless of their religious views, people surveyed near a church responded with more conservative views on a range of political issues, from border patrol to gay marriage.

It's still unclear whether polling location can influence the outcome of a vote, but LaBouff said it's worth investigating.

"I don't think we can definitely say these potential changes in attitudes are threatening the validity of the electoral process, but in some cases you're talking about a fraction of a percent," he said.  "Any time decisions are being made -- particularly if they're decisions that relate to social issues and national policy -- we should pay attention to the context in which those decisions are made."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio