No matter how corny this sounds, I promise I’m not making this up: as I walked up to my polling venue today to cast my (early) vote for President, I almost got choked up.

I saw the Forsyth County faithful coming and going from the building, the odd assortment of election volunteers (80-year-old ladies, soccer moms, and one slightly punky-looking twentysomething), and I was struck with pride in our American system. I don’t have to fear for my life if my candidate doesn’t win the election. I was supremely attentive to be sure that I touched the correct boxes (three cheers for electronic voting, by the way) so that I didn’t accidentally vote for someone I didn’t mean to vote for because my vote really does count.

A lot of people have worked very, very hard and sacrificed amazing things so that I could do that today. And I’m thankful for that.