Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Melting pot casting ballots

East Amarillo is a melting pot of those from Laos, Vietnam, Somalia and other countries. Eastridge Elementary is the target precinct for many such immigrants. It reflects the new face of the far eastern part of the city. By noon, more than 200 had voted.

Joseph Phangniaong is a native of Laos. He has lived in Amarillo for 27 years. He now has an extended family of 40 living in Amarillo. And he votes every election.

"Oh, yes," he said. "And I vote Republican."

What does voting in a free election mean to him?

"Liberty," he said.

Then there's Linh Nguyen, who brought her 17-month-old son, Johnbosco Tran, with her to vote. For the young mother, who was born in Vietnam and has lived in the U.S. for 15 years, this marked the first time she has voted.

"I want to vote for McCain," she said of the candidate who spent time as a POW in her former country. "I heard McCain is really good and I want him to be the president."

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