ALBERTA

Calgary Transgender Activist Flags Election ID Problem

10/06/2015 05:03 EDT | Updated 10/06/2016 05:12 EDT
Elections Canada

A transgender rights advocate in Calgary has raised the alarm about voter identification issues in the upcoming federal election after she and at least 25 others received voter information cards bearing their birth names, rather than their current legal names.

​"It was odd, because [the voting card] had my birth name on it," says Angela Reid, who has used her new name for almost a decade now — even to vote in the previous federal election and to file her taxes.

There is no word from Elections Canada on why the names are incorrect.

Officials are asking voters to contact them, if they have a problem with their information cards.

"The concern is that it can be very intimidating to get this corrected," says Reid, who sits on the board of the TransEquality Society of Alberta, especially on election day.

"Suddenly you're having to deal with all of this very personal paper work in front of strangers," she adds.

Reid wondered if it was happening to others, so she put the call out on social media and found she wasn't alone.

"You have folks that have been living as their true selves for quite some time. They may be in a new community where their past is their past and they prefer to keep that secret," Reid says.

Later this week, Elections Canada is putting out an information guide for transgender voters. It will lay out the I.D. options that are accepted at the ballot box.​

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