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A New Citizen Votes in Wilton for the First Time

WILTON, Conn. – The first time you cast a vote is a powerful moment, and for Marcela San Martin-Foley the ability to vote voluntarily is one she relishes.

Marcela, made a U.S. citizen on Sept. 16, was excited to vote for the first time since she moved to Wilton 10 years ago.

“I’ve never been a political person,” she said. She explained that she grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during a military government, where she did not have the chance to vote. After the regime ended she said she started to gain more interest in exercising her civil rights. “Since moving to this country I wanted to take the chance to get more involved ? not in politics, but in the everyday community.”

Her friend Katherine Armstrong brought Marcela with her as she voted to explain the voting process in the U.S. and show her what the ballot looked like and how to fill it out.

“It was really different from what I expected! I went thinking Boca vs. Racing [Argentine soccer teams], Jets vs. Yankees, Jazz vs. Rock. Instead I found a lot of Republicans on the ballot. I had to choose three and there was only one choice,” Marcela said.

And when it came to beer in grocery stores, she said that she was of two minds. On one hand, she explained that going to different stores for everything is inconvenient. And she doesn’t believe that not having beer in grocery stores as a way to prevent teens from drinking is a valid excuse.

“To me that problem can be avoided with an active presence of the parents,” Marcela said. “I have a strong belief that parents have to lead by example, more than try to prevent or prohibit.”

But she also wants to support small businesses. “I always try to support small and artisanal business rather than chains.”

In all, she said she “absolutely” enjoyed her first U.S. voting experience. 

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