Naturalized citizens share their experience voting for the first time

Lydia voted on Friday and Kawar voted on Wednesday.

FARGO, N.D.- Naturalized citizens cast their ballots for the first time and say there has never been a more important time in history to do so.

Side by side, it’s easy to think Lydia Zondo and Kawar Farok have nothing in common.

They come from two different countries.

“I’m from Liberia,” says first time voter Lydia Zondo.

“I came from a refugee camp in Turkey,” says first time voter Kawar Farok.

They have two different stories.

“My husband lived here. So he brought me over,” says Zondo.

“Fled to Turkish refugee camps fleeing persecution from Sadam Husein and then we were able to come to America,” says Farok.

However they now both share the experience of getting to vote for the first time as Americans.

Lydia has been in the US since 2015 and became a citizen just a month ago.

Voting was one of the things she was looking forward to the most.

“I’m excited that I was able to speak or to express myself through my voice,” she says.

Kawar has been an US citizen since 1998, but voting was never something he cared for.

Mainly because of a common misconception.

“What would my vote do? Right. How much does it matter?” he says.

In recent years he learned that it does matter.

“A lightbulb has gone off in my head when it comes to voting, just because of the fact that I have experienced representing people now and I understand the magnitude of it and I understand how important it is,” he adds.

While these first time voters might not be the most experienced they do have advice for people planning to vote and those still on the fence.

“Choose people that you think are going to help you, that you think can relate to you, that you think can bring on your morals and your ethics and vote for people that you believe in,” says Zondo.

“If you don’t vote, it means you don’t have a right or you don’t have a voice. You don’t have power to do anything, Your voice is your right you have to vote,” says Farok.

Lydia voted on Friday and Kawar voted on Wednesday for the first time.

Categories: Local News, Politics / Elections