Today at the polls, the man who handed me my ballot said very sincerely “THANK YOU for voting.” I don’t know why it caught me off guard. They say it to everyone, every year. But it seemed like I should be the one saying “Thank you for volunteering as an election judge.” Thank you America for being a democracy. Thank you great-grandparents for becoming American citizens. Thank you women’s suffragists for giving me the right to vote. Thank you armed forces for protecting that right.

All the negative attack ads, the arguing and the dashed dreams of politics can’t erode that feeling of accomplishment when the automatic ballot feeder swallows up your vote with a whoosh. (Plus, you get an I Voted sticker.)

However long you had to wait in line to vote, wasn’t it worth it? Happy Election Day!

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