A new website reduces barriers to voting for trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse Rhode Islanders. TransVoteRI.com demonstrates what voters who possess a form of identification that may not accurately represent themselves may expect and how to update the state and federal documents for a smoother experience when voting in person.  

Trans and non-binary citizens who do not have identification documents that match their appearance, gender, or name may encounter obstacles to voting. Because of this, a major feature of TransVoteRI.com is a comprehensive guide on how to update one’s ID documents in Rhode Island. 

“We know voting is important to the health of a community,” said Trans Health Education and Policy Specialist Volta Tran in a statement. “This website helps to remove barriers in accessing and obtaining updated voter IDs and engage trans and non-binary communities in the civic process.” 

“The launch of the website coincides with Pride Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of trans and LGBTQ+ individuals and reaffirm our commitment to stand together against the discrimination and injustices experienced by the trans and LGBTQ+ community,” said President/CEO Jeanne LaChance in a statement.  

The website includes a video produced in partnership with the City of Providence Board of Canvassers demonstrating step-by-step what voters can expect when casting a ballot in person. The content also includes a video produced in partnership with Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea outlining three common scenarios trans and non-binary voters navigate regarding photo IDs. 

“Gender identity should never exclude anyone from being a voter,” said Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea in a statement. “I am committed to making sure every eligible Rhode Islander can cast their ballot safely and securely, and I am proud to partner with Thundermist Health Center to provide these important voting resources for our LGBTQ+ community.” 

Thundermist is proud to include a Trans Health Access Team who provide care to more than 1,200 individuals who identify as trans or non-binary. The Trans Health Access Team is a group of medical, behavioral health, and allied service professionals working to improve access to culturally and clinically competent health care for the trans community. Trans is an umbrella term that encompasses many identities including transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming/variant/creative, non-binary, genderqueer, intersex, agender, and others. 

This project is supported by the XIX: Shall Not Be Denied: Why It Matters initiative of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, part of the nationwide “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).