I just voted for the first time in Virginia. Voting always fills me with apprehension because I've lived and voted in so many places (and four states, now), that I am never quite sure what to expect as far as the location, procedure or machines. And I have this secret underlying fear that when I arrive, someone is going to jump up and point at me with a gnarled finger and yell in a craggy voice, "YOU! You can't vote!" I don't know why I have this fear; I've never done anything that would legally stop me from voting. But I get nervous all the same.
But today? Today was easy as instant pudding. The machine was fantastic (it even gave me a chance to preview my ballot when I was completely finished), and although the line was incredibly long (this at 6:30 in the morning), the actual ballot marking took me all of three minutes and half of that was making sure that I didn't mark the wrong thing. There is one very controversial state constitutional amendment on the ballot and one very close Senate race, and I wanted to be absolutely sure I voted the way I intended to.
And when it was all over, I had this feeling of warmth -- yeah, warmth -- and satisfaction and glee that I have a say in matters, even if I am lazy and don't get involved in political groups or campaign for issues like I feel I should. If nothing else, I cast my vote and I am proud.