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I became an American citizen in December 2019 after living in the US for over 20 years as a Green Card holder with a German Passport (ever wonder why our emails start with “Hallo?”).

I decided to become a citizen before the 2016 election, which was when the process started. It took me three years of forms, consulate visits, and calls to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services customer service to finally become American.

There were moments when I felt lost in the bureaucratic void and that my citizenship would never happen, which is often how our own political system can feel.

My own little “Ellis Island” moment last December at the US Immigration building in NYC.
This week, I will vote in my first general election, and I sincerely hope you will too.

2020 will mark the first time that there will be an equal number of eligible voters in the Millennial/Gen Z group as in the Baby Boomer+ group. According to a new study by the nonpartisan project, States of Change, older generations will still cast more votes than younger voters by a margin of 43 – 32%.

During the pandemic, I connected with people ages 18 to 84 about their feelings about these “unprecedented times.”

  • Our 19 year old engineering intern, Sophia, told me about her friends who are displaced during the pandemic (due to “Zoom University”) and are figuring out how to vote despite living in different states from where they are registered.
  • Apple, 84, lives on an island in Maine, and told me about her car rides down roads of houses alternating between Trump signs and Biden signs. She’s never seen the country more divided.
  • Ruth, 60s, expressed her heartache about her younger friends struggling to get by, let alone make life plans like get married. The trifecta of the pandemic, racial tensions, and the election have impacted the youngers she cares about in a way she has never seen before.

Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s normal to feel a bit freaked out about the divisive feeling in the air. However, we can take one action that helps us feel heard.  I urge you to make a plan and vote.

And while voter registration has largely ended, there are still ways to help get out the vote. We’ve included some resources below for those who want to take more action – like calling or texting registered voters.

Let’s prove those statistics wrong and cast our ballots across generations.

See you at the polls!
Charlotte

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