SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Saturday at the Springdale Civic Center, dozens of members of the Marshallese community cast their votes for the very first time in America.
Albious Latior is from the Marshall Islands and lives here in Northwest Arkansas, but, he says like many Marshall Island natives, he cannot use his voice to vote because he’s not a citizen.
However, that didn’t stop him from getting other members of the Marshallese community who are able to vote to cast their ballots.
Latior said he registered at least 103 new voters, several of whom he brought to the polls Saturday to cast their very first vote.
“I think that the leader will listen to us now because we have the numbers even though it’s small it represents 10,000+ Marshallese in Northwest Arkansas that they want to vote but they cannot vote because they are not a us citizen,” he said.
While he’s encouraging these voters to come out to the polls, Latior said part of him wishes he could be doing it himself.
One of those young voters he brought to vote Saturday was Mona Kuch.
“I chose because it’d be a voice for my people and not many of us can vote because we came from the island so being a U.S citizen it means a lot for us children to vote for people we think are right for us,” she said.
Kuch said despite the importance of voting this election season, it was not an easy decision for her at first, but, in the end, it was one that was well worth it.
“I hope a lot of things change not just from a political point of view but for everyone we’re not thinking for ourselves we’re thinking for everyone in our community,” Kuch said.
These preparations for the 2020 elections in the Marshallese community don’t stop here… Latior said he will be bringing another group of first time voters to the polls on Monday to cast their ballots as well.