Yesterday I participated in the process. I voted early.
I love voting. Never do I feel more American, more a citizen, than when I punch those cards, or fill in the little black dots. There's something liberating about walking out of your polling place knowing that you've done your civic duty.
The disenfranchinsing things: It was a local election cycle, and many of the races were non-contested. As is my usual, in races where I did not like the incumbent, I wrote in a candidate. Sometimes I write in myself, sometime someone else. I once got two votes for Democratic Committeeman, or some such, when my wife adopted my write-in policy. It was a close thing.
I work hard to be an informed voter. I research each candidate and know why I'm voting the way I am. The last time I voted "with the crowd" was Reagan. I was eighteen, forgive me. I even voted Green Party in some of last year's statewide races.
I'd like to see more people vote, but I'll qualify that statement by saying I'd like to see more 'informed' people vote. Care about the issues, know what and who you are voting for, and be part of the process.