New citizens register to vote in upcoming election

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Friday is the last day to register to vote in November's election by mail, and some people have gone to extreme lengths to make that deadline.

At the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office on Tyvola Centre Drive, 67 people from 32 countries took the Oath of Allegiance and became American citizens.

Pat Loepsinger, from Canada, said her big motivation in becoming a citizen this year was to be able to vote on Nov. 6.
"I've just made it in under the wire," she said.

Loepsinger is voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.

"I really think it's important that he stay in office for another four years," she said. "Complete what he started out to do."

Trung K, from Vietnam, was also eager to register to vote. He said he's voting for former Gov. Mitt Romney because he supports the Republican's pro-life views.

"I don't agree with President Barack Obama," he said. "That's why I vote for Mitt Romney."

June White with the League of Women Voters said not everyone is as focused on registering as K and Loepsinger.

That's why she and others are reminding new citizens at these ceremonies that time is running out.

"This is unique in that it is so close to the deadline," White said. "[We're] also informing them of their rights to vote, where they can vote, how they can vote and what it's all about."

According to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, on Sept. 1, 646,644 people were registered to vote.

On Oct. 11, 665,312 were registered.

Mail-in applications have to be postmarked by Friday for people to vote on Nov. 6, but people in North Carolina can still register in person and vote at early voting sites from Oct. 18 to Nov. 3.

There is no registration on Election Day.