Press Release: Sam Petto, ACLU Nebraska
Today, the ACLU of Nebraska, Black and Pink, Civic Nebraska, the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, OutNebraska and the Professional Transgender Network of Nebraska sent information to Nebraska election officials about voting access for gender non-conforming, non-binary and transgender Nebraskans.
A two-page tip sheet lays out simple definitions and guidance that will help poll workers create a welcoming environment and protect eligible voters’ rights to cast a ballot.
Advice ranges from avoiding terms like “ma’am” or “sir” to expecting that someone’s physical appearance may differ from what a poll worker expects when reading a name on the voting list.
ACLU of Nebraska LGBTQ Legal and Policy Counsel Sara Rips, a role funded with support from the Omaha Community Foundation’s Equality Fund, said the goal of the project is to ensure a respectful voting experience for all Nebraskans.
“Nebraska’s frontline poll workers take their jobs seriously and have a strong record of administering safe and fair elections,” Rips said. “This project helps to reaffirm that approach and ensure every Nebraska voter is treated with dignity and respect as they exercise their fundamental voting rights.”
“Every registered voter should be able to exercise their right to vote because every voter’s voice is important to our democracy,” added OutNebraska Executive Director Abbi Swatsworth. “OutNebraska works every day to empower LGBTQ+ people across Nebraska. We are proud to partner on this effort to prepare poll workers to welcome our community on election day.”
The tip sheet is paired with newly updated voting rights information for gender non-conforming, non-binary and transgender voters on TransNebraska.org, a website managed by the ACLU of Nebraska. The updates include answers to common questions and election protection resources.
This marks the third election for the joint project. The organizations sent a similar resource to election officials in 2016 and 2018, and received positive feedback.