The next federal election, to select the next President of the United States, will take place in November 2012. In that election, President Obama will seek re-election. It is expected that many people will want to become US citizens ahead of the 2012 election since only US citizens can vote. Therefore, if you plan on voting in the 2012 election and making a difference in the future of the US, you will want to apply early since processing times may be longer.
If you want to vote in the 2012 election, you first need to ensure that you are qualified to become a US citizen. If you have been a lawsuit US permanent resident for at least five years and have maintained continuous US residency during that time, you may qualify for citizenship. You can apply for citizenship by filing USCIS Form N-400. This form takes up to seven months to process and once it has been processed you will need to pass the citizenship interview and test and go through the citizenship ceremony to become a US citizen. All of this will need to take place before you can register to vote, so right now is the best time to apply for citizenship if you want to be able to vote in November 2012. As well, if you apply now you can start studying for your citizenship exam so that you can be sure you will pass it.
You may also want to check you state’s deadline for voter registration. Some states permit you to register to vote one day before an election, while others ask that you register thirty days before an election. If your state is one of the latter, that means you will need to be a US citizen by October 2012 at the latest in order to vote in the federal election next year. Applying now ensures that you will be a US citizen in plenty of time to vote.
It is important to remember that the 2012 election will likely include platforms about a number of immigration issues, including state immigration law rights and federal immigration reform. If you would like a voice in these issues, apply early in order to become a US citizen so that you can cast your vote.