The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge has been awarded a national grant from the League of Women Voters of the U.S. to increase the voter registration of the country’s newest citizens following their participation in a Citizenship and Immigration Services ceremony.
LWVOR and the U.S. District Court of Eastern Tennessee will work together to celebrate the swearing in of immigrant residents who have chosen to call the United States their new home, a press release said. Volunteers will provide a celebratory reception and guide the new citizens through the voter registration process at six naturalization ceremonies before November 8, 2018. Other dates may be added, the press release said.
The ceremonies will take place at the Big South Fork National Recreation Area on April 26, at 10:30 a.m.; in Chattanooga (900 Georgia Avenue), on May 11, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; in Knoxville (800 Market Street), on July 24, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and again in Knoxville (800 Market Street), on October 19, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Other dates may be added.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization for men and women, the press release said.
“The League works to bring about constructive change by registering voters and defending voting rights, informing citizens about their rights and responsibilities, informing the public through our in-depth issue analyses, sponsoring candidate debates and public issue forums, and taking action through lobbying for change,” the release said.
“Gaining the right to vote is one of the most valued features of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. The sheer joy expressed by these new citizens reminds us of how fortunate we are to be citizens of the United States,” said Mary Ann Reeves who, along with other LWVOR members, has registered new citizens at other naturalization ceremonies.
In October 2011, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services revised its guidelines regarding the provision of voter registration applications at naturalization ceremonies, and for the first time ever, the USCIS has committed to providing the opportunity to apply to register at every single administrative naturalization ceremony in the country, the press release said.
“If you tend to be cynical about our democracy, this is one of the most moving moments one can experience,” Reeves said. “Witnessing the swearing in of new citizens from all over the world, will severely dampen your cynicism.”
For more information, call (865) 693-6286.
This press release was submitted by Maureen Hoyt.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2018 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.