Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yet another day at the races

Today was the deadline for voter registration, so it was pretty busy all afternoon with people coming in to register. Toward the end of the afternoon, shortly before mom and I left--she's started going with me since I've been pressuring her--an African American couple came in to register.
The wife looked a little worried, but her husband patted her on the shoulder and said, "It's okay, don't worry."
I approached them and said rather cheerfully, "Hi there! What can we do for you?"
"I.... would like to register to vote?"
"You've come to the right place. Would you like to sit down? Here's the form and a pen, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask."
The lady and her husband sat down and she filled out the form, then pulled a folded paper out of her purse and looked a bit nervous. She did have some questions, but soon got everything filled in properly; it wasn't until she unfolded the paper that the reason for her anxiety became apparent.
"I've just gotten my Naturalization papers," she said. "I wanted to make sure I'd be able to register to vote."
The only thing I could think to do was beam at them and say, "Congratulations! How wonderful!"
She was afraid, I think, that even though she's been naturalized, she wouldn't be able to vote, even if she registered. I assured her that since she was now officially a citizen, had the papers to prove it, and the registration form was all filled out, she was certainly able--and welcome!--to do so; just to make extra sure, I asked if she'd like to speak to what I jokingly call "one of the grown-ups". The boss looked at her form, gave her the nod, and told her we'd drop her form off at the courthouse, and that she could expect to get her registration card by a certain date. Her husband, who had begun their visit to the office as looking rather dour--perhaps he, too, was worried she wouldn't be able to vote--immediately brightened up and became much more cheerful.
I was really happy for them: Here they've made a huge change by moving here from another country, they've gone through all the paperwork and other adjustments to become bonafide citizens, and now they're both registered to vote. Does one's heart good to see something like that and to help allay their fears. :)


theyarnwhisperer said...

That's a great story! I did my own early voting on Tuesday. This seems to be an election that people are revved up about and want to make sure that they get their asses to the poles and have their say. I'm just so relieved that I don't have to go stand in lines on Nov 4th!

Rachael said...

That is *so* wonderful!!! I'm very happy for them! :D

I get to vote on Monday!! *does a little dance*

La Duchesse said...

Congratulations to both of you! :)