U.S. Naturalized Citizens are sworn in at a ceremony in Boston. Photo by Matt Porter courtesy of the JFK Library/John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

By Tori Bedford, WGBH

November 6th, 2018

As voters across the country headed to the polls on election day, nearly 200 people became naturalized U.S. citizens in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

As citizens, they can register to vote in future elections, but when it comes to the midterms — they’ll have to sit this one out.

Originally from Trinidad, Kathleen Philemon has spent the last 25 years living in Boston and familiarizing herself with local politics, but because Massachusetts does not have same day voter registration, Philemon could not vote on Tuesday.

Philemon says she will make sure her voice is heard in future elections. She’s not alone in wishing she could have voted today — Latoya Williams-Dew, a Jamaican-American citizen who has lived in Roxbury for 20 years, expected to be able to become a citizen, register to vote and submit her ballot in the same day.

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