HIGH POINT, N.C.-- It's a monumental day for some new voters in High Point. Several newly naturalized citizens cast their first or second ballot in America.
- A group of newly naturalized citizens voted for the first or second time.
- They feel like their vote represents all of the immigrants and refugees who aren't able to vote yet.
- Early voting continues
"This is the country that gave us our identity,” said Dev Bhandari, who is originally from Bhutan.
Bhandari lived in a refugee camp for 17 years before moving to High Point.
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"We got kicked out of the country we were born in and then got thrown into the different country and lived under there under the bamboo and hut with the mud. Nothing like this,” Bhandari explained.
On Wednesday, he cast his first local vote. He's among a group of newly naturalized citizens voting for the first or second time.
"We were deprived of the voting rights, and we were deprived of the constitutional rights. We didn't have freedom and democracy back in the country,” said Santi Mishra, who is originally from Bhutan.
"Everybody deserves to have a voice in every decision that is made on their behalf, and I think one vote matters," said Adamou Mohamed, who is originally from Niger.
Everyone Spectrum News asked said they feel like their vote represents all of the immigrants and refugees who aren't able to vote yet.
"Once we vote, we may have a representative speaking in favor of our immigrants and refugee population. So we think voting is important for everybody,” Mishra said.
"Never been prouder in my life than when I vote in an election, especially this one that's very, very important,” Mohamed said.
For refugees like Bhandari, they feel like they have a real home and a real voice for the first time.
“Do not take citizenship for granted. Use this as the opportunity to make changes in the country,” Bhandari said.
Early voting continues, and Election Day is Tuesday.