Transgender woman suing Mecklenburg BOE, NCSBE after being forced to show ID at polls

CORNELIUS, N.C. — A transgender woman is suing the Mecklenburg Board of Elections and North Carolina State Board of Elections after she said she was forced to show her ID at the polls last November.

"I was disrespected," said the woman, who did not want to be identified and is listed as Jane Doe in the lawsuit. "I felt like I was on trial for something. I never did anything wrong. All I did was want to vote."

The incident happened at the Cornelius Town Hall in November 2019. An ID was not required to vote at the time and the law is currently in flux. When she asked if she had to show one because she is transgender, she said the chief judge at the precinct replied, "You know why."

"The fact that she was forced to do that is not only questioning her identity, it questions her existence as a human being," said Faith Fox, the woman's attorney. "There's absolutely no reason why she shouldn't be allowed to vote."

The NCSBE declined to comment because they haven't been served the lawsuit. The Mecklenburg BOE previously admitted asking for the ID was a mistake.

Elections Director Michael Dickerson said he couldn't comment much about the situation due to the lawsuit, but he said his office's No. 1 job is to make sure people are able to vote.

"It is a very delicate situation, and my poll workers are trained to be very sensitive," he said.

The woman is seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

Despite everything that happened, she said she will not be dissuaded from voting in the future.

“I will be voting,” she said. “I refuse to not vote.”