And tonight, I will go home, watch Gilmore Girls, and listen to Monty Python's Election Night Special.

Inevitably, I'll get drawn into media coverage. I'll probably opt for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, although if we have a repeat of 2000, I'll be keeping one eye on Dan Rather. It's always a gas to see the professional facade crack and some authentic feelings weasel their way in.

Speaking of 2000, I did not vote then. I was, however, miserably ill, more so than I've ever been before or since. After days of an escalating hacking cough, I acquired medical attention. The best the doctor could tell me was, "It could be mono, but we're not sure." Thankfully, it wasn't mono, but I didn't entirely shake that cough for weeks.

By election day, I was well enough to go to the polls, but I didn't care. Couldn't stand Bush (still can't), felt indifferent towards Gore, so I wasn't registered. I don't fully regret not voting then.

I feared that debacle of an election would destroy our faith in democracy and government to the point where future voter turnouts would reach an all-time low. Fortunately, the opposite thing happened. Not that people aren't more skeptical of those institutions than ever before, but at least it seems our society as a whole wants to make a difference. Even if less than 50% of us vote nationally, that's still an improvement.

This is the third presidential election I'm eligible to vote in, and the first crucial one. The country isn't necessarily going fall apart if Bush wins, just as it won't become an utopian Neverland if Kerry wins.

I just hope that whoever wins this election, wins it fairly.