Columbus resident reflects on journey to citizenship, first time voting

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – This historic election year has many Ohioans eager to submit their votes, and for one local woman, she says for the first time she’s privileged to vote.

Maria Duque was originally born and raised in Colombia. However, as a teenager, her family and her decided to move to Canada for a few reasons.

“Things started to change, and it became fairly violent with the cartels,” she said.

A few years later, she moved to Columbus and pursued her college degree, got a job, got married, and had 2 children. She was in a good place in her life but couldn’t call Columbus home because of her citizenship status.

She says the moment President Trump became president, she decided to make her move.

“[I applied] Out of honestly fear that things were going to change so dramatically. That I could potentially not be allowed to become a citizen or the path to becoming a citizen would be becoming extremely hard.”

She says it wasn’t easy, but it was quick and she’s thankful for considering it.

“I have friends who it took a very long time. I am grateful.”

In 2017, she finally received her citizenship. This year, she is now voting for the first time. She says she will vote for those who can’t.

“We need to exercise the right to vote, not just for us, but for our children and our future as a country.

She says she is fortunate to finally call Columbus home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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