Area board of elections holds naturalization ceremony for dozens of citizens

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Tuesday morning more than 80 people and their families from 43 countries walked into an area courthouse and left United States citizens.

Sept. 20 is National Voter Registration Day.

Tuesday, new United States citizens signed up to vote for the first time.

“We’ve got 88 new voters right here in our backyard,” Sarah Greathouse, deputy director at Montgomery County Board of Elections said.

A packed auditorium with an overflow room, many first time U.S. citizens sat together as they achieved a long time goal. Families and friends watched as Judge Walter Rice lead the new citizens in the national anthem.

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Jucinaldo De Siqueira is from Brazil but has lived in Ohio and Florida.

“This time is very important for everybody who dreams to be a citizen, which is very important to stay present in this time,” Siqueira said.

Tuesday’s nationalization ceremony and National Registration Day were combined to make sure the new citizens can sign up to vote ahead of November’s election.

“The greatest benefit of citizenship, and the biggest responsibility of that status is the right to vote,” Judge Walter Rice said.

The class of 88 citizens was so large because of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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