Taylor Swift enjoyed another benefit of being 18 last week, when she exercised her right to vote in the presidential election for the first time. Waiting in line an hour and a half, she happily signed autographs on the last day of early voting.

"The line wrapped around the building," she told PEOPLE magazine, "but I can honestly tell you that it was worth the wait. I felt like I really accomplished something special. It's like exercising -- you think about it and you're like, 'Wow, there's going to be a long line, there's going to be a lot of effort involved,' but afterwards you feel so good."

Saying she felt "so completely American" by exercising her right to vote, Swift was determined to cast her ballot in spite of her busy schedule. "I wasn't going to be able to vote on Nov. 4 because I'm going to be in L.A.," she said. "But there wasn't a chance I was going to let this slip away."

While refusing to disclose whether she voted for Obama or McCain, Swift clearly took her choice seriously. "I watched the debates and I read all kinds of articles on each person and each [nominee for] vice president and what they believe in and where their priorities are," she said. While she may have seen advantages with either side, ultimately she relied on her "gut instinct," she said. "I wavered back and forth the entire time I was waiting in line and when I got into the voting booth, I said, 'That's the one I'm voting for,' and I pressed the button. And I feel good about it!"

Swift knows she's not alone in her interest in politics. "I've never, ever seen in any election the passion about voting before in people my age," she said. "Everyone I know is obsessed with their opportunity to vote. I see people getting involved and there is something really, really beautiful about that."

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