Yahoo! News is asking readers and voters to share brief anecdotes and photos from Election Day. Here are one voter's observations.
FIRST PERSON | KATY, Texas -- Come election time, people often wonder if their vote really counts. Does my vote count? Probably not. I vote in Texas -- which is far from swing-state material. However, I still vote because it counts for me. Once every four years, I wake up in the morning and beat my chest knowing that I have the opportunity to flex the muscles of freedom this great nation offers. I have the one day to speak out.
I started this Election Day standing in line at 6:30 a.m., and couldn't help but notice the positive moods in the people around me. Voters from our moderate-sized, 1970s neighborhood continued to stream into the community center. In line, neighbors chatted about the voting machines and registration cards, but no one ruined the positive atmosphere with debates.
No mention of Obama or Romney.
Smiles sincerely stretched themselves across the faces of construction workers, teachers, janitors, and many more. In that line, no boundaries were drawn. All stood together.
A sign, which could not be seen by those in the line, was posted at each table's edge to outline the alphabetical listings of last names which the election clerk manning the table would register. As the line began to move at 7 a.m. on the dot, conversations turned to questions: Can you see what letters that line includes? Which line do I need to move into? The lines were chaos.
At this point, I noticed a man -- who looked like he was in the military -- walking up to the registration table. In tow was a chair. It was quite a curious sight really. Upon reaching the table, he set the chair down and ripped the alphabet sign from the table's edge. He climbed onto the chair and, using masking tape, secured the sign so that it dangled from the ceiling in full view of all those in the lines. In chorus, the voting masses giggled and recited, "Of course! It takes the Army to figure that out!"
Voting continued and spirits rode high. I left feeling elated and proud to start my day on such a positive note. Will my vote count? It probably will not. Did I lose anything in speaking out? No, I gained. I spent the morning amongst joyful people who were appreciative of their freedom to vote. I started my morning with smiles, laughs, and a feeling of contribution.
What could be better than that?