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(Slate)   The most bizarre polling places in America, from bowling alleys to tire shops   (slate.com) divider line 101
    More: Interesting, polling places, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, tires  
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5819 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Nov 2012 at 9:32 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 10:33:07 AM  
When I lived in california, my polling place was in some the garage of some dude's beach house in santa monica.

/they pretty much put polling places wherever they can in the LA area
//they vote in the lifeguard shacks in malibu
 
2012-11-06 10:33:51 AM  

This text is now purple: 1. Church gymnasiums aren't terrible busy on Tuesday mornings.
2. Schools are


Actually...not entirely. Several states--including my dear home of Louisiana (Land of the Republican Landslide, Whether the Majority Voted for It or Not)--made Election Day a public holiday, so schools are out. I hear this is the way it is in Delaware, California, Montana, and at least one of the Carolinas.
 
2012-11-06 10:33:56 AM  
Mine is the 4-H building at the county fairgrounds
 
2012-11-06 10:34:16 AM  

MrTDGoodrich: Well I feel ripped off now. Our polling place is my old middle school.

//My county declares a school holiday on polling days


My kids are off of school today...

/oh yay
//sarcasm off
 
2012-11-06 10:38:49 AM  
My friend who lives at the other end of the neighborhood votes at a car dealership. My polling place is a boring old elementary school.
 
2012-11-06 10:44:02 AM  
In my town in Alabama, we vote at Karla's Kuts and Kurls...weird thing is, the voter pool isn't really as diverse as I would have expected - can't figure out why?
 
2012-11-06 10:45:53 AM  

Tax Boy: When I lived in california, my polling place was in some the garage of some dude's beach house in santa monica.


Look at me. You can do this. I know a shortcut through El Segundo. Take the 105 West and exit on Culver. When you see the Zankou Chicken on the left. Turn left. Take Venice and take it all the way down. Then you're in Marina del Rey.
 
2012-11-06 10:50:51 AM  
Mine is at a Mormon church!
Conspiracy!!
 
2012-11-06 10:51:22 AM  
My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.
 
2012-11-06 10:52:53 AM  
The place where i voted is a pool hall with a big sign out front "we have smooth shafts and clean balls". Gotta love Chicago.
 
2012-11-06 10:54:51 AM  
What, no strip clubs? I am disappoint.
 
2012-11-06 10:55:00 AM  

Iceman_Cometh: My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.


How do you avoid the union thugs and New Black Panthers waiting to beat anyone who doesn't declare their allegiance to Obamao on their way in?

/CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS!!1!1!!1!!1eleventy1!!
//besides, a CEO would never lie to me for his own benefit, right? right?????
 
2012-11-06 10:57:09 AM  

minoridiot: My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.


So is mine.
 
2012-11-06 10:59:18 AM  
Mine was at the local Elks Lodge. Since we're in a pretty left-wing neighborhood, a lot of the voters were looking around the inside of the place like they were in the lair of a supervillain or something.
 
2012-11-06 11:08:05 AM  

PlatinumDragon: Iceman_Cometh: My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.

How do you avoid the union thugs and New Black Panthers waiting to beat anyone who doesn't declare their allegiance to Obamao on their way in?

/CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS!!1!1!!1!!1eleventy1!!
//besides, a CEO would never lie to me for his own benefit, right? right?????


I mention your mom's name. Seriously, take a pill or something.
 
2012-11-06 11:11:27 AM  

Iceman_Cometh: PlatinumDragon: Iceman_Cometh: My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.

How do you avoid the union thugs and New Black Panthers waiting to beat anyone who doesn't declare their allegiance to Obamao on their way in?

/CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS!!1!1!!1!!1eleventy1!!
//besides, a CEO would never lie to me for his own benefit, right? right?????

I mention your mom's name. Seriously, take a pill or something.


"oh, her? well, as she would say: 'come on in!' "
 
2012-11-06 11:15:24 AM  

Teresaol31: Mine too. Pisses me off every time I vote. Moreover, when I first moved to town and followed the "vote here" signs, it sent me to the actual sanctuary, rather than the church gym. I had to ask the church secretary, the only human in the main part of the church, for directions to get to the right building. I imagine that this leads to 1) people becoming frustrated and leaving before they get to vote and 2) being misdirected by the snotty church secretary if they "look like Democrats." I have expressed concern about this to multiple officials and I STILL do not understand why they can't use the local school gym instead. The answer I keep getting is, "this is where we've always voted." Bad answer.


Full disclosure: atheist (and Democrat). I'd rather vote outside a church too, but this isn't the First Amendment nightmare it sounds like.

For one thing, the churches have to be on board, whether they're volunteering the space or renting it. That may not matter to you, but the First is much more about protecting the autonomy of religious exercise than it is about you never having to dirty your shoes by walking inside a church. Likewise, the local school may not have been on board. I imagine the power of the election authority to force the matter varies from state to state, but there's no reason to assume the principal wants thousands of strange adults tramping through the school while it's in session.

As for the snotty church secretary profiling people, she could do that regardless of where the election was held. So few people volunteer as election workers that they'll take anyone. Stay tuned to the news today for a thousand petty stories of poll workers mysteriously forgetting their training and

* wearing partisan buttons
* demanding ID where none is required
* stealing blank ballots
* flushing completed ballots
* accidentally leaving boxes of ballots in their cars
* subtly racially profiling
* not-so-subtly racially profiling
* taking a group three-hour dinner break just when the factory lets out and all the workers come vote
* etc. etc.

You have to ask yourself why the church building taints the process. Is it because you believe there's a strong party affiliation of its members? Well, that may be your belief, and it may well be true. I'm positive that the skating rink I vote at (I know, right?!) skews more heavily Republican than my local area, in terms of its patrons. That kind of stuff doesn't matter as long as there's no harassment or overt electioneering. On the other hand, if you just think that a cross is a political statement--again, you might be right. But it's not an unambiguously partisan one. The cross would pretty much have to be on fire before a court would believe that it was interfering with someone's right to vote, and I can't say I disagree.

I get that going into a church may be personally distasteful. But that in and of itself isn't a meaningful barrier--if you don't want to vote badly enough that you can't bear to walk past some Sunday School posters, you don't want to vote at all.

On the other hand, if you really are being intimidated or screened, or if the priest is baptizing people as they walk in the door, or blowing incense over the voting machine, or glaring at infidels and incanting maledictions in eldritch tongues, call the Justice Department yesterday. Vote suppression is as vote suppression does, regardless of what building it's in.
 
2012-11-06 11:19:01 AM  
My former polling place was Caterpillar Equipment warehouse in West Columbia, SC. Always thought that was strange.
 
2012-11-06 11:27:41 AM  
My polling place is an eco friendly elementary school that has a sign on the door that says "Stop!! Peanut Free Zone" . Makes me wish I had a bag of peanut M&Ms.
 
2012-11-06 11:37:38 AM  
Voted in the library basement.
First time in 30 years of voting that it wasn't a church.


//swing state
////swing county
 
2012-11-06 11:48:03 AM  

Teresaol31: minoridiot: My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.


Mine too. Pisses me off every time I vote. Moreover, when I first moved to town and followed the "vote here" signs, it sent me to the actual sanctuary, rather than the church gym. I had to ask the church secretary, the only human in the main part of the church, for directions to get to the right building. I imagine that this leads to 1) people becoming frustrated and leaving before they get to vote and 2) being misdirected by the snotty church secretary if they "look like Democrats." I have expressed concern about this to multiple officials and I STILL do not understand why they can't use the local school gym instead. The answer I keep getting is, "this is where we've always voted." Bad answer.


www.crovati.com
 
mjg
2012-11-06 11:48:07 AM  
The Swinging Sixties Senior Center, Brooklyn, NY.

/my polling station
 
2012-11-06 11:50:26 AM  

wheresmypen: Voted in the library basement.
First time in 30 years of voting that it wasn't a church.


//swing state
////swing county


Swinger (giggity)
 
2012-11-06 11:52:59 AM  
I vote in the Knights of Columbus hall in my hometown. Use to vote at the volunteer fire station
 
2012-11-06 11:57:09 AM  

semiotix: Teresaol31: Mine too. Pisses me off every time I vote. Moreover, when I first moved to town and followed the "vote here" signs, it sent me to the actual sanctuary, rather than the church gym. I had to ask the church secretary, the only human in the main part of the church, for directions to get to the right building. I imagine that this leads to 1) people becoming frustrated and leaving before they get to vote and 2) being misdirected by the snotty church secretary if they "look like Democrats." I have expressed concern about this to multiple officials and I STILL do not understand why they can't use the local school gym instead. The answer I keep getting is, "this is where we've always voted." Bad answer.

Full disclosure: atheist (and Democrat). I'd rather vote outside a church too, but this isn't the First Amendment nightmare it sounds like.

For one thing, the churches have to be on board, whether they're volunteering the space or renting it. That may not matter to you, but the First is much more about protecting the autonomy of religious exercise than it is about you never having to dirty your shoes by walking inside a church. Likewise, the local school may not have been on board. I imagine the power of the election authority to force the matter varies from state to state, but there's no reason to assume the principal wants thousands of strange adults tramping through the school while it's in session.

As for the snotty church secretary profiling people, she could do that regardless of where the election was held. So few people volunteer as election workers that they'll take anyone. Stay tuned to the news today for a thousand petty stories of poll workers mysteriously forgetting their training and

* wearing partisan buttons
* demanding ID where none is required
* stealing blank ballots
* flushing completed ballots
* accidentally leaving boxes of ballots in their cars
* subtly racially profiling
* not-so-subtly racially profiling
* taking a group three-hour din ...


On the upside, while there was definitely some blatant electioneering going on in the room, by the poll workers (one of which had exactly one tooth and the other who had no shoes on, why yes, I DO live in Arkansas.) There is an incredible turn out so far. I was voter 111. There are only 300 people in the whole town, and this is before everyone that works outside of the town stops by after work! I will also point out that the hour I had to wait in line constitutes the longest amount of time I've been in a church other than for a wedding or funeral in over 25 years.
 
2012-11-06 11:57:26 AM  
In college, I voted in a co-op's "banquet hall" that had a random assortment of broken bikes, cinder blocks, old clothes, and empty bottles pushed off into the corners away from the voting booths. There was garbage in the polling place. Guess that's symbolic or something.
 
2012-11-06 12:01:14 PM  

In Canada you generally vote in 1) a church or 2) a school. The venues are paid a modest amount of money IIRC to cover "rent" and "clean-up", etc. It's a small but welcome subsidy to things people have to pay for any way.

The idea of voting in a bar or a massage parlour (I bet there's at least one, somewhere, probably Nevada or Alaska, but it could be any state given the kind of vote-blocking and vote-rocking BS that goes on in American politics) sounds deeply suspicious. How do Mormons vote? Do they have to sneak in the back like they do the rest of the time? Is this some kind of block-the-vote Republican thing or do Demorats make you vote in gay strip clubs and abortion clinics just to PO the vote-blockers?

I will say this for the American electoral system. I had just finished putting the voting booths in the auto shop on my desktop as wallpaper when I scrolled to the end of the page and discovered that in America, it is possible to vote in FARKING EDWARD HOPPER PAINTING!

Isn't that the coolest thing?

It's shiat like this that makes one wonder sometimes if maybe America isn't really the Greatest Country on Earth like all the patriotic ninnies say it is.

And if you look closely, there are Norman Rockwell prints on the walls.

GOD BLESS AMERIKA-KA-KA!

If half the country wasn't completely insane, you would not be able to order your first election day drink while you are actually in the fricking polling booth!

By the way, can you vote in the stretch car-truck or does it cost extra?

Do you get a free shot with each vote you cast?

What happens if you accidentally vote your shopping list in a convenience store? Would Jack Daniels serve if elected?

The American political system never ceases to amaze and dismay me. Thank God I live in Canada, next door to the Greatest Show on Earth, but not actually standing in the sawdust covered vomit.

And remember what P.T. Barnum said when you are in the voting booth: partisans have claimed for generations that the country and the world will come to an end if you vote for the wrong side, but it hasn't happened yet.

upload.wikimedia.org
One Democrat vote, One Republican vote, and another Republican vote
from the hooker. If the soda jerk votes, the Election goes to the House of Representatives
 
2012-11-06 12:01:25 PM  

Bippal: Thanks, I called the place you are supposed to in Indiana, and they said it was up to my local officials in my County. called the county officials and the judge's office said he didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I hate this area.


Contact 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or 866ourvote.org
 
2012-11-06 12:05:42 PM  

Again, my thanks to Subby. That is the coolest thing I have seen all Election.

The only thing that could top that is if Willaaaaaaaaaard were attacked by a face-hugger. Heck, you could throw in Paul, Biden and Obama for free and it still would be a tough call.

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER EACH ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
THE WORLD IS NOT LAUGHING AT YOU.
IT IS LAUGHING WITH YOU.
 
2012-11-06 12:08:09 PM  
Here is the Fox News outrage of the day...

Link

Actually, I'd tend to agree with the outrage on this one... you'd think they could find another room, or just cover it up for election day.
 
2012-11-06 12:09:06 PM  

PlatinumDragon: My polling station has been the ground floor of my building for the past few elections at all levels. I've voted in my socks.


Please Sir or Madam, show some respect for the American Way of Life and Democracy.

Put on some flip-flops.

Symbolic gestures count.
 
2012-11-06 12:09:12 PM  

Bobo_Spiewack: minoridiot: My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.

Yeah, same here and it bugs me. Especially because out in the entry way they have a table with information set up about the church. C'mon. Stop trying to convert heathens on at least ONE day a year, idiots............


www.crovati.com
 
2012-11-06 12:10:43 PM  

The First Four Katy Perry Albums: You titty babies crying about voting in a church make me laugh. I'm sure when you walked in to vote, the atheism detector at the door started going off and the little old ladies working the polls smacked you with a giant cross and shouted REPENT FILTHY SINNER, didn't they? Oh my goodness gracious, my constitutional rights were violated because I was exposed to the inside of a religious building! This is what Margaret Atwood warned us about!


So much this.
 
2012-11-06 12:14:45 PM  

Jubeebee: minoridiot: My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.

I hate that shiat. The last two elections, my polling place was at a church. Luckily, today I voted at city hall. I'd prefer not to have shades of theocracy hovering over my ballot.


www.crovati.com
 
2012-11-06 12:14:52 PM  

dletter: Here is the Fox News outrage of the day...

Link



"...a representative from the New Black Panther Party was also spotted outside a polling site..."

In other words, some teabagger saw a black man voting and panicked.
 
2012-11-06 12:18:48 PM  
I get to vote in a hotel this year! FANCY!

/Fancier than the sad little visitor's bureau I usually vote at.
 
2012-11-06 12:47:13 PM  
The bowling alley one is in my old ward in Philly. If it's the one I think it is, it's a few blocks from my old house.
 
2012-11-06 12:49:32 PM  

jaytkay: dletter: Here is the Fox News outrage of the day...

Link


"...a representative from the New Black Panther Party was also spotted outside a polling site..."

In other words, some teabagger saw a black man voting and panicked.


1/10
 
2012-11-06 12:57:03 PM  

Iceman_Cometh: PlatinumDragon: Iceman_Cometh: My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.

How do you avoid the union thugs and New Black Panthers waiting to beat anyone who doesn't declare their allegiance to Obamao on their way in?

/CHICAGO-STYLE POLITICS!!1!1!!1!!1eleventy1!!
//besides, a CEO would never lie to me for his own benefit, right? right?????

I mention your mom's name. Seriously, take a pill or something.


Recalibrate your snark detectors.
 
2012-11-06 01:02:24 PM  

brantgoose: PlatinumDragon: My polling station has been the ground floor of my building for the past few elections at all levels. I've voted in my socks.

Please Sir or Madam, show some respect for the American Way of Life and Democracy.

Put on some flip-flops.

Symbolic gestures count.


Done that too. I think I voted for the only female candidate in my riding that election.

/green
//safe dipper seat
///i've also voted marijuana
 
2012-11-06 01:03:31 PM  

Teambaylagoon: Community Hospice, I get to vote in a house of death.


Same here. I think they had the heat up to about 85 degrees in there.
 
2012-11-06 01:27:13 PM  

chrissytine7: I get to vote in a hotel this year! FANCY!

/Fancier than the sad little visitor's bureau I usually vote at.


Ditto! I always get to vote at the nicest hotel in town. Pretty sweet.
 
2012-11-06 01:36:49 PM  
Voted in a high school (boring...). The ramblings waiting in line were amusing though. All the poll workers were 70+ (stunning, I know) and talking coded politics with each other. Every once and a while they'd say something really obvious like, "We need red change today" which would trigger one of the ladies of the group to shush them.

Of course, things got kinda weird when an off duty officer in line started talking about all the drugs in the area and how Judge such-and-such was no help at all; leading to workers to agree with him. Apparently, I was the only person in line that only owned one piece of property and didn't deal with meth on a daily basis.

/CBS
//not a swing state; my only vote that mattered was for county Assessor
 
2012-11-06 02:13:31 PM  

chrissytine7: I get to vote in a hotel this year! FANCY!

/Fancier than the sad little visitor's bureau I usually vote at.


Well, at least it gives you a reason for being seen at the no-tel.
 
2012-11-06 02:13:38 PM  

minoridiot: My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.


I've voted in churches numerous times. It's mostly a matter that the church isn't exactly over-utilized outside of Sunday, are in the local area, and willing to provide the psace for free. They have to agree to certain rules. For example - removing most blatent religious decorations, not interacting with people there to vote, etc...

It works out well enough. I don't mind interaction/cooperation on that level. For example, I've seen businesses that are 9-5 weekday share a parking lot with a church. Just saves everybody space and money.

Teresaol31: Mine too. Pisses me off every time I vote. Moreover, when I first moved to town and followed the "vote here" signs, it sent me to the actual sanctuary, rather than the church gym.


In my case, it's because the school(on the same block as the church) is being used as a polling place by another district. But then, the signs are very explicit and it's very easy to find where to vote.

Iceman_Cometh: My polling place is at the PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL #101 (Illinois) Shocking, I know.

I'd hate to have to vote at a Church. It would be hard to cast a vote while dodging lightning strikes.


They always get pissed at me leaving scorched footprints on their floors.
 
2012-11-06 02:16:44 PM  
eh. I've voted in churches & fire stations - no problem with either.

The one that annoyed me was in the clubhouse of a private senior housing 'burb. The old coots took one look at me and insisted that I couldn't possibly be registered in their district. Luckily I can read even when the page is upsidedown and I took pleasure in pointing right to my name.

/shoot me if I go that crazy when I'm old
 
2012-11-06 02:34:10 PM  
This is the first time voting in a new area and they demanded ID and even on where I signed had a big bold words "Must show Identification" I thought that was mighty weird and was a bit pissed off about it to say the least.
 
2012-11-06 03:38:18 PM  
I voted in the same church basement I have for over 20 years. This time around everyone had their ID ready and handed it to the nice lady at the desk who finds the voter cards. It went a lot quicker than when everyone had to repeat their name 3 or 4 times so she could find your card. Here in PA they will ask you for your ID, but won't refuse you if you don't have it. Next election you will be required to have an ID.
 
2012-11-06 08:54:24 PM  
The polling place that I would go to if I didn't vote by mail is the hall of a catholic Church, Where I used to vote prior to that was a National Guard Armory.
 
2012-11-07 02:02:20 AM  
I vote in the basement of a Catholic Church. I am a extreme agnostic, who believes in complete separation and I don't have a problem with it, as there's no religious artifacts in the space in which we vote and we enter by a separate door.
 
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