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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

New U.S. Citizens share experiences of voting for the very first time in Michigan

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Grand Rapids resident Kyle Lim is originally from Singapore, but on Tuesday he was officially sworn in as an American citizen—also the same day as the Michigan primaries.  

“Then I called the clerk’s office, the Grand Rapids City Clerk’s Office, to confirm yesterday, and they told me that I could vote and so then I went there yesterday and had to wait in line just under two hours and I was able to register and vote both at the city clerk’s office.”

After living in the United States for over ten years, Lim says it was really exciting for him to vote for the very first time.

“I think we are also in a critical time right now when it comes to elections and I think being able to cast a vote in favor of a candidate that I think would be able to bring about some real change for this country was important to me.”

Kalamazoo resident, Ana Cornieles also recently became a U.S Citizen. She is originally from Venezuela and she remembers how seriously her parents were about politics. 

“When we moved here to the states we would always be updated and kept in touch on how Venezuela was progressing along with us living here. So, growing up I always had an ear to the ground on that and that obviously turned my interest to politics here because I obviously knew that it affected my everyday life.”

She became a U.S. Citizen last June and says she was thrilled to have voted for the first time on Tuesday.

“I registered in, in my ballot, and then I cast it and I got my sticker and so I shared with everybody and just really enjoyed the day and took it in so it was very exciting.”

I am Michelle Jokisch Polo