Jeh Johnson, Hatoumata Tounakara

Former refugees look to Election Day with a sense of duty

Hatoumata Tounakara, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Mali, waves a tiny American flag as she prepares to receive her naturalization certificate after being sworn in as U.S. citizen by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, left, during a naturalization ceremony on World Refugee Day in Central Park, on June 20, 2016, in New York. Tounkara said she is excited about voting in the November general election and has already made up her mind on which presidential candidate she supports. Thousands of former refugees and asylum seekers will vote in a U.S. election for the first time this November. Many have witnessed the consequences of autocratic rule and civil strife. They’ve spent years navigating the bureaucratic gauntlet needed to get to the U.S. and, eventually, to become a citizen. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK (AP) — The path to the voting booth hasn’t been easy for Hatoumata Tounkara, but the former West African refugee says she couldn’t have picked a better election to cast her first ballot.

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