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From Brazil to Woodbine, Iowa

Woodbine, Iowa

Story Narrative:

Speaker 1: How did you become a voter?

Speaker 2: Okay, so in order to vote you've got to become an American citizen. So, that was the first step. So, I moved here from Brazil in 1998. I was 14 years old, and we had a green card when we moved here right away because my step dad used to work here before he met my mother; he went back to Brazil, married her, and we came back together.

So none of us there were American citizens. So you have to . . . at the time, I think the law might have changed, but at the time, you had to live here for five years before you could apply for citizenship. So we did, we lived here for five years, and as soon as we hit that five year mark came, we applied to become American citizens. That I remember very distinctively. I had to take a test. I was a freshman, no I was a junior in college at that time, and I had to fill out, I had to learn all these questions, and all of these questions they make you learn are about American History. And they also make you write a lot of stuff in English, well a couple of sentences in English.

It's actually really easy, but I remember being really nervous about the test. I was definitely overly prepared for it, so I don't remember what day that was, honestly, but it was a pretty cool day because you go in to take a test, just you and another person, and then they do a little ceremony, kind of welcoming you into being a citizen. So at that time, I don't think that was an election year, so I had to wait I think two years before I could vote. It was at least not president, and I had never voted for a local stuff before I moved here, to Woodbine. I have voted here for local stuff just because like I said in this small town you get to know those things, right? And in a big town you don't know, and in my opinion, if you don't know anything about it, and you're not informed, you should probably not vote because you've got to know what you're going for...

Asset ID: 8402
Themes: Voting, democracy, immigration, civic duty, responsibility
Date recorded: Nov. 26, 2019, 11:36 a.m.
Length of recording: 140.50 s
Related traveling exhibition: Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Woodbine Community School, Woodbine, Iowa

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