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Syrian Emigrant Casts 1st Ballot as Citizen in South Dakota

Voter (FILE)
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Lining up to be among the first to vote this Election Day in Sioux Falls was especially important for 30-year-old Feras Derany: It marked the first time he could cast a ballot as an American citizen.

Derany, originally of Syria, became a naturalized citizen in January after living in the country for four years. He says casting his ballot Tuesday made him feel “part of the community.”

Derany’s decision to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stemmed from being laid off from Hutchinson Technology in Sioux Falls. He says that with Romney as president, fewer jobs will be shipped overseas, as his job was, and that Romney’s “ideologies against China” won his vote.

Derany says, “It’s hard to lose a job, especially a job you loved.”

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