I voted this morning at my public library today in the battleground state of Virginia. Arriving before 8 am, I was surprised to see the line of mostly young professionals already snaking through the parking lot and down the sidewalk. I should have brought coffee, I grumbled to myself.

I buttoned up my coat and got in line.  After several years of voting absentee as a student, this was my first chance to vote in person for our next president. I couldn’t wait to wear that “I Voted” sticker! 

Three and a half hours later, I emerged from the polling place with an ear-to-ear grin. What is it about voting that is so exciting? Sure, I’d made some new friends while waiting in line. I even got a free cookie from some Girl Scouts. But what really thrilled me was that hundreds of my neighbors hadn’t just been willing to spend their morning waiting to cast a vote; they were ecstatic about it. After all the months of waiting, after all the endless campaign ads, this was our chance to decide.

I have met hundreds of excited young and first-time voters through my work at the League.  I’ve watched in awe as our incredible and tireless volunteers fight every day to make sure everyone gets the chance to participate. This morning I stood beside hardworking Americans who fundamentally believe that their hard-earned vote matters. What could be more inspiring than that?

Happy Election Day, everyone! Please make the time to cast a vote. To find out how late the polls are open in your area, go to www.VOTE411.org.