I remember my parents voting at my school when it was a polling place, waiting in line for hours in '92, before advance and mail-in voting was really a thing. We'd had our own mock election at school, and us 10-to-13-year-olds elected Ross Perot.
I remember the first election I ever voted in, it was not presidential, it was for some small local offices, maybe even a primary. I'd submitted my voter registration the second I turned 18, and showed up at a tiny church in the middle of the morning to vote after reading newspaper opinion columns all week. There were about six people in that room including three very happy election workers, and everyone had to have been at least four times my age.
The first president I voted for was in college. Bush vs. Gore... the year we had the whole mess with Florida not counting right (sigh). Not that I cared, I'd voted libertarian that year, I'd hung up signs and everything.
I definitely still remember the April 5th gay marriage amendment in Kansas that I'd worked so hard to defeat, that was an election day where I spent my lunch break sitting in my car feeling sick to my stomach because I knew we'd lose. I'd just fought... because.
And finally, I remember election day 2008, when we were in Washington D.C. for that conference and hearing everyone celebrating in the streets, yelling and honking horns late into the night from our hotel, sharing that spirit.
I live in Kansas, a very clear red state. Our 6 electoral votes have not gone to a democrat since 1964 when we chose Johnson over Barry Goldwater, so long ago that even my parents were too young to vote. So it's pretty darn obvious which way we're going this year, and it makes the election a little less fun. But only a little. We'll still stay up tonight watching the results, hoping there's not a tie or some state that can't figure themselves out. The fact is that even though the election might not go the way I want it to, I still love democracy too much to just look away at the end, it's still too awesome that we just all get to vote and see what happens.