For many University of Colorado students, today is more than just an Election Day. It was their first time voting in a presidential election and they were not about to miss out on the traditional American experience of democracy.
The threat of long lines was not enough to keep students from the polls on Tuesday, even as the crowd at the campus polling station steadily increased throughout the morning.
CU junior Darby Simmons headed to the University Club around 8:30 a.m. to cast her first vote in a presidential election and uphold her family's Election Day tradition.
"When I was a kid, I always remember having to get up super early on Election Day and go wait in line at the polls so my parents could vote," Simmons said. "Getting up early and waiting in the line, it was all part of the whole shebang, the atmosphere of it all."
There were no lines this morning at the University Club with most students casting their vote in less than five minutes but that did not dampen Simmons' Election Day experience.
"I feel like I accomplished something today," Simmons said. "Putting the ballot in the box and having them be like 'congratulations, you voted' made it real for me."
While some voters were determined to keep with the tradition of voting on Election day, university staff and students said the line for early voting at the University Club on Friday was wrapped around the building and deterred some from casting their vote last week.
"I thought about it but there was no way I was waiting in that line," said CU senior Bailee Woods. "I'm glad I waited because there was no line this morning so it ended up being a lot faster today."
A steady stream of voters trickled into the polling location this morning with traffic picking up slightly around 9 a.m. There was still no wait at 10, according to student voters who shuffled in and out of the building between classes.
Many first-time voters said they were excited to display the "I voted" sticker on their clothes as they walked around campus -- some hoping to inspire their peers to vote and others looking to repel the campaigners that gawked around the University Memorial Center, across the street from the polling location.
Woods said she got her sticker early in an attempt to keep over-eager campaigners away.
"I know they mean well, but they're forcing their opinions down your throat so I'm hoping the sticker will say 'leave me alone,'" Woods said.
CU senior Adam Rosenbloom said he enjoys going to the polls on Election Day, but casting his ballot Tuesday was more about procrastination than atmosphere.
Rosenbloom voted in the 2008 presidential election and planned to mail-in his ballot this year, but by the time he got around to it, it was just easier to go to the polls this morning and drop it off.
"On Election Day it's like you feel this moral obligation, a civic duty to vote," Rosenbloom said. "Also, I'm a student so I procrastinate. It just happens."
Procrastination may have paid off this year for Rosenbloom who said going to the polls added some excitement that had been lacking as he filled out his ballot for his second presidential election.
Anxious first-time voters created an exciting vibe for the campus polling location, Rosenbloom said.
"As you grow up it just becomes a duty, another thing that you do," Rosenbloom said. "I'm glad I ended up here this morning, actually, because it did make it feel more like Election Day."
CU junior Natasha Dickson had no problem finding some excitement this morning as she headed to the University Club to drop off her mail-in ballot.
"It really gets you in the spirit of the whole thing," Dickson said. "This only comes around every four years so why not get in line and take it all in."