Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today marked America’s Independence Day by helping preside over a naturalization ceremony for 23 new United States citizens at Middletown’s City Hall. After the new U.S. citizens took their oath of citizenship, Secretary Bysiewicz registered 17 of the newly eligible voters. Bysiewicz was joined by Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard N. Palmer, Middletown Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano, and Lisa A. Faccadi of the Middlesex County Bar Association.
“The democratic freedoms we value simply don’t exist in many of the countries these new citizens come from,” said Secretary Bysiewicz, whose grandparents emigrated to the United States from Poland and Greece. “I want to welcome our newest citizens to the electoral process, and it is imperative that our local election officials help them take advantage of the democracy we enjoy. My office has registered thousands of new citizens to vote over the past decade and I am encouraged because statistics show that new citizens are much more likely to vote when they are registered.”
In total, some 23 new citizens from 16 countries (listed below) finished the naturalization process by taking the oath of citizenship in front of their family and friends. These immigrants have been living in Connecticut legally, working towards citizenship.
United States Census data reveals new citizens are less likely to vote than natural born citizens; however, when they are registered to vote that disparity is dramatically reduced. In 2008, the United States had 1,539,000 naturalized citizens; nevertheless, only 931,000 (60.5%) were registered to vote. In contrast, of the 190,683,00 native citizens, 146,311,000 (71%) registered to vote. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in the 2008 Presidential Election, 89.2% of naturalized citizens who were registered to vote actually cast ballots, compared with 89.7% of natural born citizens who were registered.
The new citizens sworn in today emigrated from the following countries: Albania, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, India, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom.