Let's take a walk back through the years, shall we?
I don't have any memories of Reagan being president, but I do remember discussing the Bush Sr./Dukakis election in first grade (1988). Specifically, I remember that one of our Weekly Reader issues was dedicated to the election and we could all check a box on the page to "vote." Then we all just voted however our parents were voting.
In 1992, I was in fifth grade. We kids continued to "vote" however our parents were. I remember having some spirited discussions with classmates about this election. Basically, our arguments boiled down to "Bush is better!" "No, he's not! Clinton is better!" Fortunately, things have changed...or have they?
1996, sophomore year of high school. I have no notable recollections of this election at all, except for that Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode (you should seek it out if you haven't seen it - it's social satire at its best).
Finally, I can vote! By unexciting absentee ballot, anyway. I was a sophomore at the BYU in 2000, and let's face it, the choice was easy for my young, fresh, not-yet-disillusioned self. The best part was going to bed election night thinking Al Gore had won, and then having my roommates wake me up in the middle of the night to say that actually Bush won (or maybe it was the other way around). Etc., for the next two weeks. Greta van Susteren and Crossfire became TV staples in our apartment.
Another absentee ballot, this time from Damascus in 2004. The US embassy/cultural center threw an election night party which was great fun, but kind of a joke since our time zone was so far ahead of America. The first results were just barely coming in when the party ended. Oh well. We stayed up most of the night watching the news anyway once we got home since it was Ramadan, and all our neighbors were awake, making a racket.
Today, I'll be voting in person for the first time. It sounded all idealistic when I made the decision not to do a mail-in ballot - you know, taking the kids along, giving them a taste of civic duty, experiencing the excitement of an election first-hand, etc. Now I'm just hoping that the lines won't be too long.
Happy Election Day!