The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 3rd

Letter: ​Vote because being a citizen is a privilege


As the daughter of an elected official, I understand the direct impact that voting can have on someone’s life, and the truth behind the statement that every vote counts.

The pride and excitement I felt while casting a vote for my mother is similar to the joy expressed by the subjects in your Oct. 31, 2016, article titled, “Newly naturalized citizens recognize power of voting” by reporter Samantha Scott.

This article, however, reminded me of the many conveniences I am fortunate enough to have because I was born in the United States.

The focus of many campaigns recently has been the encouragement of citizens to vote.

These campaigns, however, fail to focus on an underlying issue: the difficulty of becoming a naturalized citizen in the United States.

On average, 91 percent of applicants pass the naturalization test each year. This is compared to the 65 percent of native-born Americans who passed the same test during a 2012 telephone poll (covered) by USA Today.

I believe that we, as a nation, should try harder in the future to remind ourselves of these conveniences and work toward combatting this issue together.

I applaud your article for bringing this topic to light. In a presidential election cycle that seems to be marred with unhappiness, it was uplifting to see citizens who were excited to vote.

Olivia Buffington


Public relations and public policy

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