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New Citizens Take Oath, Then Register To Vote

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today [Tuesday] is National Voter Registration Day.

Spokane County elections officials were out in the community adding new voters to their records. One of their stops was the federal Post Office, where 28 people became new U.S. citizens.

In an ornate courtroom, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Frederick Corbit administered a citizenship oath to the group. Then, together, they recited the Pledge of Allegiance. And the new citizens picked up the paperwork proclaiming their newfound status. It’s a quick ceremony, only about 20 minutes.

Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Afterward, the judge posed for pictures with the new Americans and their families.

Corbit says naturalization events like this are held once a month or so in Spokane. It holds special meaning on a day when voter registration is encouraged.

“Every one of these seminars there’s been a volunteer from Idaho and from Washington ready to register the new citizens to vote. If today is National Voter Registration Day, these two things went together well," Corbit said.

Right outside the courtroom, representatives from the county elections office and the League of Women Voters were waiting to sign people up.

The new citizens come from 15 countries, from Canada and Mexico to China, to former Russian republics, Africa and the Middle East.