Voter Participation is Key Aspect of U.S. Citizenship

The United States 2012 presidential elections are only a week away. Most people like to vote on the “day of” for the excitement of it all, but there are many who opt to vote early.

Early voting began in September. According to the United States Election Project at George Mason University, close to 14 million people nationwide have already placed their votes. In two of the most sought-after states, Iowa and Nevada, President Obama has the lead over Governor Romney.

While standing in line to get a voting card and an available voting booth, the spirit of America is felt. You can see people of all races and ethnicities, of different social and economic status, waiting to take part in the election with enthusiasm and pride.

Sadly, it seems that only a little over half of all American citizens over the age of 18 recognize that their vote counts. According to the U.S. Census, in 2008, only 63.9 percent voted. This percentage has been the same for most presidential elections in recent history.

All Americans must remember the following:  The process of becoming a US citizen is long and often difficult. You have to keep this in mind and appreciate the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Whether you are a citizen by birth or you are a naturalized citizen, you cannot take the opportunity to vote for granted.

If you have been a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least five years, you might be able to apply for citizenship.