New gender option coming to Maryland voter registration forms

Voter registration deadlines are looming for voters in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Thinkstock)(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Thinkstock)
Voters in Maryland will soon have a new option to identify as an unspecified gender.

After the legislature passed a new law that will allow residents to list themselves as an unspecified gender with an “X,” instead of the usual “M” or “F,” last week the state Board of Elections agreed to make a similar change on voter registration forms.

The new law for driver’s licenses and state issued identification cards goes into effect on Oct. 1. The Board of Elections needed only a few minutes last week to agree to make a similar change, with one member commenting “because we get so many registrations via the MVA it makes sense that the fields might match.”

Another board member, who prefaced his question saying he wasn’t making a political statement, simply asked why the board cared, noting that you don’t need to show ID when you go to vote in the first place.

Another member responded saying, “I’m not sure that we care, but the elected officials certainly …” She was cut off by another member saying he could figure it out from there.

The request was made by Montgomery County Del. Julie Carr.

The change won’t cost the state anything since the “statewide voter registration database already has unspecified” listed, so it’ll simply have to edit the forms before the next batch is printed. The change will show up sooner online.

The change was approved unanimously on June 27 by the five-member board. The Baltimore Sun was the first to report on the change.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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