Voting for the 2013 Miss America Competition has begun with an opportunity to vote for a woman with a local connection.

Mallory Hagan, a native of Opelika, won the title of Miss New York in June and will be competing for the crown of Miss America on Jan. 12 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be broadcast live on ABC.

Starting now, people can go online and vote for who they want to be Miss America. There are 53 women competing for the crown, each with their own video giving a reason why they should be Miss America. The contestant who receives the most votes will be chosen to participate as a finalist in the competition.

In her video, Hagan gave many reasons for wanting to be Miss America, such as being a representative for various causes as well as for the travel opportunities.

“Most of all, I want to be Miss America because of the incredible legacy of this organization,” Hagan said.

After graduating from Opelika High School in 2007, Hagan spent one year at Auburn University before moving to New York City in 2008. She is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

There is a limit of one vote per person and Internet-accessible device per contestant throughout the voting period. The deadline for voting is 11:59 p.m. PST on Jan. 10.

For more information, visit www.missamerica.org/videocontest.

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