A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Grimes takes part in naturalization ceremony with Kentucky’s 141 newest citizens

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes last week took part in her 80th naturalization ceremony since taking office, welcoming 141 new citizens from 46 countries.

The ceremony occurred just before Mother’s Day weekend at the Woman’s Club of Louisville.

The ceremony included the administration of the oath of citizenship required to become Americans at the federal courthouse. Grimes spoke to the new citizens and their families about the duties of civic engagement, voter participation, and commitment to improving Kentucky, continuing her historic voter registration efforts.

Alison Lundergan Grimes

“Today marks 80 times I have witnessed new citizens take the oath of citizenship,” Grimes said. “Just like the first time, it still stirs pride in my heart. Like all the thousands I have met before you, I am so proud to call each of you fellow Americans.

“The most precious right you have gained today is the right to vote – a voice in this democracy. We need you to use your voice and vote.”

Grimes told the citizens they have a responsibility to participate in the betterment of society. She shared a quote from Susan Look Avery, founder of the Woman’s Club of Louisville in 1890: “It is bad for the ignorant and vicious to do ill, but it is worse for the educated and honest to do nothing.”

Grimes encouraged the new citizens to register to vote using her office’s GoVoteKY.com online voter registration portal.

“I am urging you today to go online and register to vote. And then cast your vote in every election,” said Grimes. “A minority of people are usually determining who we send to city hall, county government, to Frankfort and to Washington, D.C. That’s unacceptable, and you can help change it. Our future is made by people who vote.”

She urged the new citizens to register to vote and participate in the General Election in November. The citizens are unable to vote in this month’s Primary because they became sworn citizens after the registration deadline.

The Secretary of State’s staff attends each naturalization ceremony held in Kentucky to greet new citizens and answer questions regarding voting and registration.

From Secretary of State

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One Comment

  1. Leigh Anne Stephens says:

    What a beautiful ceremony. I attended in Lexington a few years back. If you want to renew your patriotism, you should go. Natural born citizens sometimes take our freedoms take for granted. We should guard closely our rights and freedom. New citizens would stay in their homeland and not be sworn in as United States citizens, if we were not the best in the world!

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