Voting for the First Time
In June of 2007, Lida came to the United States through the IRC in Seattle after having fled her home country of Iran and spending 13 months in the neighboring country of Turkey. Five years later, on September 26, 2012, Lida received her American citizenship. That same night, she says "I registered to vote." On November 6, 2012, Lida voted in her first U.S. election.
While many people tire of the election seasons’ endless commercials and lawn signs, Lida was excited for this year’s election because it was her first. "I wasn’t allowed to vote in Iran," she said, "and I’m happy to have the opportunity vote for the first time." Lida spent time before she voted researching the candidates and issues online, looking for common interest and opinion, and voting for those she thought had the best interest for her country, her state and her county. She looked forward to watching the coverage on election night as results were announced.
This year’s election was also important to Lida because to her, it means that she has the same rights as others who live here. She also expresses that she knows "her voice was heard and her opinion is helping impact the place she lives." To Lida the implications of the election strike a personal note. "This election is important to me because it’s going to impact how the US is going to treat my home country and my family back home."
Citizenship for Lida, goes beyond the voting booth, too. "I have a US passport now, and the freedom that comes with that." She expressed her gratefulness for the help of the IRC in Seattle, and says "I can’t stop smiling every time I talk about becoming a citizen!"
Return to the IRC in Seattle