There is a first time for everything. Twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Reichel had never cast a ballot before Tuesday evening.
"I met my wife four years ago during an election year and her family is really big into politics," said the Negaunee Township resident. "This year I decided to get really into it because they showed so much passion for it."
He said he never voted before because he never took the time to get informed.
"My wife gives me a hard time, but I'm proud to do it now, and it's a right that I have and it's exciting," said Reichel after casting his ballot Tuesday evening at the Negaunee Township Hall.
The Aspen Ridge physical education teacher and Westwood High School boys' varsity basketball coach knows everything takes practice, so Tuesday morning, he practiced voting. He led his Aspen Ridge middle school students in a mock election.
"Me, being in physical education, I was like, wait, I kinda want to do what the social studies teachers are doing as well, and the election went great this morning," he said.
Reichel said he was a little nervous as he waited in line to vote, but he went into the voting booth with a game plan.
"I chose watching the debates over the watching the World Series and all those things, and it was fun," he said of his voting preparations. "It was really exciting, I got kind of a rush. Today was one of those days where I woke up this morning early, like it was kind of like Christmas Day to me."
Reichel has advice for others who have never voted before or haven't in a while.
"It's worth a shot. You know, if you didn't enjoy it then...not," he said. "You know, getting informed, being involved. You know, younger generations, we have the power of the vote, and I'm hoping that the kids buy into it, and when they're eligible to vote, they're going to do it."
Reichel is now a voter for life.
"I'm in for good now," he said. "I loved it, and it was an exciting time for me, and I plan to keep doing it."