New Americans, Young People Cast First Votes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/02/04

New Americans, Young People Cast First Votes

Doctor Obaid Siddiqui didn't mind waiting in line to cast his first vote as an American. He came to the U.S from Pakistan 12 years ago. Saddiqui took the oath of citizenship only last year. He says he's felt like an American for a long time.

"Being an American means believing certain principals and values, so truly speaking, I think I became an American many years ago," Siddiqui said.

As an American, Siddiqui doesn't take his right to vote lightly.

"This is the most important election I have ever voted in my life because an American election is not just voting the President for America, it's going to effect the whole world... It's very difficult to put into words how special it is to me just to be a part of this."

While Siddiqui waited to fill out his ballot, 18-year-old Kaytee Wilie turned in her very first ballot.

"I felt this is an important election and felt it's my duty as a citizen. I just turned 18 in September so I figured just go ahead and vote," Wilie said.

Wilie says her first vote will not be her last because she's waited long enough to have her voice heard.

Obaid Saddiqui feels the same way.

"Just being a part of the whole process is very thrilling. It's an honor."

For this election, more than 2,000 people registered to vote for the first time in Jackson County. 1,000 of those new voters registered just last week.

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