Citizenship Delays Will Impact Election

Hundreds of thousands will miss chance to vote due to backlog
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 4:12 AM CST
Bianera Petithomme, center, of Haiti, waves a flag and cheers after becoming a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremony at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, July 4, 2007.A big...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have applied for US citizenship will not have those applications processed in time to vote in the 2008 election. The Department of Homeland Security failed to fully prepare for a massive increase in applications filed to beat a widely publicized fee increase that took effect over the summer, reports the Washington Post.

"These are people who want to be Americans," said one congresswoman. "Not to allow them to participate in one of the fundamental rights of a democracy is a real problem." A federal official said the demand for citizenship "went off the charts."