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   The most bizarre polling places in America, from bowling alleys to tire shops

06 Nov 2012 09:32 AM   |   5799 clicks   |   Slate
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minoridiot    [TotalFark]  
My polling place is at a church. I thought that was pretty odd considering there is suppose to be some separation, somewhere.

06 Nov 2012 08:52 AM
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Ikam     
I voted in the back room of the bar down the street for almost 10 years. Now my polling place is a homeless shelter.

06 Nov 2012 09:33 AM
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mootmah    [TotalFark]  
I vote in a bowling alley.

06 Nov 2012 09:35 AM
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WTFDYW    [TotalFark]  
That first picture was awesome. The folks should know how to operate a voting machine from all the practice on the video poker machines the rest of the year.

/i miss my video poker at the American Legion

06 Nov 2012 09:35 AM
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karmaceutical     
I think a couple here in Boca are in lifegaurd stations on the beach.

06 Nov 2012 09:36 AM
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Lost Thought 00     
I vote at my local police station

06 Nov 2012 09:36 AM
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you have pee hands     
What's wrong with a bowling alley? I just voted in a VFW post. They smell the same, anyway.  Bar wasn't open, boo hoo.

06 Nov 2012 09:37 AM
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BraveNewCheneyWorld     

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


Renting space for an event isn't exactly influencing the process.

06 Nov 2012 09:38 AM
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SpiderQueenDemon     
I voted at an elementary school. It has a copy of the Declaration of Independence hanging near the door. That made me happy, seeing those familiar old signatures as I walked in to the polls.

06 Nov 2012 09:40 AM
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Chupacabra Sandwich     
www.album-art.net

Hank Hill's garage?

06 Nov 2012 09:40 AM
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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.

06 Nov 2012 09:41 AM
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kaedric     
Our voting place is "Mike's Video and Appliance" and you vote in front of the washing machines and refrigerators. Kind of weird.

Here's a 2010 Link

06 Nov 2012 09:44 AM
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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.

06 Nov 2012 09:45 AM
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BarkingUnicorn    [TotalFark]  

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.


Did they jam the tabulating machine?

06 Nov 2012 09:47 AM
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Arkanaut     
I lol'ed at District 2, Carthage, Tenn.

/don't blame me, I voted for Clyde.

06 Nov 2012 09:49 AM
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PlatinumDragon     

BarkingUnicorn: 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.

Did they jam the tabulating machine?


Only the crusty one.

/gotta go

06 Nov 2012 09:50 AM
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Holocaust Agnostic     
I have to drive past a polling place to get to my polling place. kinda odd.

06 Nov 2012 09:50 AM
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Bippal     
Quick question since this is a voting themed thread, went to vote this morning, and noticed the electronic voting machine's password was 1234, asked the lady about it and she said "yea I think they all are in this town". Wtf? Doesn't that sound like a problem that no one cares?

06 Nov 2012 09:51 AM
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Some.Farkin.Guy     
I vote in a garage at one of the houses in town. Of course, when the town only has 500 people living in it, that sort of thing happens. At least it's not at one of the 4 churches in town.

06 Nov 2012 09:51 AM
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This text is now purple     

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.


1. Church gymnasiums aren't terrible busy on Tuesday mornings.
2. Schools are

06 Nov 2012 09:52 AM
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jaytkay     
Great photos!

Sadly, I voted early, I expected to be out of town today.

Election day is a big deal for me.

06 Nov 2012 09:53 AM
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Rapmaster2000     
If I had to vote next to Street Fighter I'd be saying "HADOUKEN" every time I made a selection.

06 Nov 2012 09:54 AM
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BraveNewCheneyWorld     

Bippal: Quick question since this is a voting themed thread, went to vote this morning, and noticed the electronic voting machine's password was 1234, asked the lady about it and she said "yea I think they all are in this town". Wtf? Doesn't that sound like a problem that no one cares?


It certainly could be depending on what access that password gives. I'd report it right now if I were you.

06 Nov 2012 09:54 AM
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The Third Man     

kaedric: Our voting place is "Mike's Video and Appliance" and you vote in front of the washing machines and refrigerators. Kind of weird.

Here's a 2010 Link


Mike's Video and Appliance! I remember that place. Had no idea there was a polling station there on Election Day.

When the daughter was in elementary school, our polling place was there. The polling center was set up in the gym, and she said that the gym teacher was actually trying to hold class around the stations. Can you imagine trying to vote and getting hit by a basketball mid-vote?

06 Nov 2012 09:55 AM
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PlatinumDragon     

Rapmaster2000: If I had to vote next to Street Fighter I'd be saying "HADOUKEN" every time I made a selection.


Upon hearing that, the person in the next booth would be within their rights to yell "TETSUMAKISENPUUKYAKU".

06 Nov 2012 09:55 AM
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mesmer242     
Sometimes I vote at the grocery store, but our official voting location is the Y - M - C - A! It's fun to vote at the Y - M - C - A.

/in the hallway next to the pool
//the chlorine smell is overwhelming

06 Nov 2012 09:56 AM
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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.

It was funny on the way in though. They have sign wavers on either side of the entry road - one group for each side. When I pulled in the people supporting Mittens were very excited to see me, a white guy in an Audi. And they waved at me again as I was leaving.

I just shook my head "no".



Oh, and for the record, I am in Ohio. The voting machine prints a receipt as you go that tracks your selections, so there is a paper trail. I validated every one of my choices as I went and that part was accurate.

Unfortunately, I was the only one in the place checking that as I went.

06 Nov 2012 09:57 AM
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dletter     

This text is now purple: 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.

1. Church gymnasiums aren't terrible busy on Tuesday mornings.
2. Schools are


This is mostly the reason why... and also why one of the plethora of reasons why the GOP doesn't want weekend voting (on weekends, Schools are empty, Churches are busy).

Also, the entire driveway into the church where I vote is plastered with yard signs (I guess they must be enough "away" legally from the actual polling place, although I would consider the entire "grounds" the polling place, but, whatever), about 95% of the republican (maybe 100%, giving the benefit of the doubt, but, I don't recall a democratic sign).

06 Nov 2012 09:57 AM
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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!

06 Nov 2012 09:58 AM
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ApatheticMonkey     

Rapmaster2000: If I had to vote next to Street Fighter I'd be saying "HADOUKEN" every time I made a selection.


You should do that whether there's a SF cabinet there or not.

06 Nov 2012 09:58 AM
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dletter     

The Third Man: Can you imagine trying to vote and getting hit by a basketball mid-vote?


I'd go with "Dodgeball Voting"

06 Nov 2012 09:58 AM
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Kibbler     
Ours is now a country club; probably the best emblem of the affluent white suburban area we live in, I guess.

They were utterly incompetent in setting it up. They put the first registration table across one end of the room. At one side of the room, just at this end, is the only door in. So you walk in, and if there's a line, the head of the line is right in front of you, at the near end of the table. The tail end of the line is...well you have to walk in, wade through people, and try to figure out where the tail is. And if you just finished voting, you have to wade through the line, and the crush of people coming in. So it was a whole lot of confusion.

Fortunately there weren't that many people when I got there. If there had been a hundred people, they would have had a real problem on their hands.

They could have put the registration table on the far end of the room, maybe put up a curtain to section off the actual voting machines from the line of people walking in, and they would have avoided the tangle.

I said "vote Obama" to my wife just as we walked out the door, just for the satisfaction of breaking the law. It made me feel all...Republican.

06 Nov 2012 10:00 AM
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Rapmaster2000     

ApatheticMonkey: Rapmaster2000: If I had to vote next to Street Fighter I'd be saying "HADOUKEN" every time I made a selection.

You should do that whether there's a SF cabinet there or not.


Round 1.... FIGHT!

06 Nov 2012 10:00 AM
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MrTDGoodrich     
Well I feel ripped off now. Our polling place is my old middle school.

//My county declares a school holiday on polling days

06 Nov 2012 10:00 AM
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Bippal     

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Bippal: Quick question since this is a voting themed thread, went to vote this morning, and noticed the electronic voting machine's password was 1234, asked the lady about it and she said "yea I think they all are in this town". Wtf? Doesn't that sound like a problem that no one cares?

It certainly could be depending on what access that password gives. I'd report it right now if I were you.


The way it worked, you have to put in the password, then it lets you vote, you can just hit single party ticket, whatever and it prints out a ticket you put into the thing. Doesn't ask for any more information. So you could just print out tickets to vote. You give them your ID to get into the polling place. I could have stood there, put the password in, single ticket voted, password in, repeat. No one watched me. Who would I report to?

06 Nov 2012 10:00 AM
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dletter     

06 Nov 2012 10:01 AM
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cheap_thoughts     
There is a polling place at the.zoo here in Wichita.

06 Nov 2012 10:02 AM
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Broktun     

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


I don't think government is endorsing any religion by having voting at a place of religious worship.

06 Nov 2012 10:03 AM
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cgraves67     
My precinct is in a school. As far as I can tell, they try to put them in municipal buildings as much as possible, but if space is not available, they would put the precinct in a public community center of some sort, like a church. I think they try to avoid private property, but if there's nothing else available, and the owner volunteers it, it's fair game. I gleaned that much when I volunteered as an election judge several years ago, when I was on a civil service kick.

06 Nov 2012 10:08 AM
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TheFark5000     
I voted at the mall that use to be the "cool" mall when I was a kid.
It was pretty sad, 2nd day of early voting and it was the busiest I've seen the mall in years.

06 Nov 2012 10:14 AM
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BraveNewCheneyWorld     

Bippal: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Bippal: Quick question since this is a voting themed thread, went to vote this morning, and noticed the electronic voting machine's password was 1234, asked the lady about it and she said "yea I think they all are in this town". Wtf? Doesn't that sound like a problem that no one cares?

It certainly could be depending on what access that password gives. I'd report it right now if I were you.

The way it worked, you have to put in the password, then it lets you vote, you can just hit single party ticket, whatever and it prints out a ticket you put into the thing. Doesn't ask for any more information. So you could just print out tickets to vote. You give them your ID to get into the polling place. I could have stood there, put the password in, single ticket voted, password in, repeat. No one watched me. Who would I report to?


Here's what I found..

How to Report Voting Problems
If you experience any problem or confusion while voting report the situation to one of the poll workers or election officials immediately. Do not wait until you have finished voting. If the election officials at the polling place are unable or unwilling to help you, the problem should be reported directly to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. There are no special forms to use or procedures to follow--just call the Civil Rights Division toll-free at (800) 253-3931, or contact them by mail at:

Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division Room 7254 - NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
The Department of Justice also has the authority to station federal election observers and monitors in polling places considered to present a potential for discrimination or other voting rights violations. The jurisdiction of DOJ election observers is not limited to federal-level elections. They may be dispatched to monitor elections for any position, anywhere in the nation, from President of the United states to city dogcatcher. Any observed potential violations of the Voting Rights Act, or any other action determined by the observers to be an attempt to influence certain voters or to prevent them from voting will be reported to the DOJ's Civil Rights Division for further corrective action.

06 Nov 2012 10:14 AM
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Teambaylagoon    [TotalFark]  
Community Hospice, I get to vote in a house of death.

06 Nov 2012 10:15 AM
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This text is now purple     

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Any observed potential violations of the Voting Rights Act, or any other action determined by the observers to be an attempt to influence certain voters or to prevent them from voting will be reported to the DOJ's Civil Rights Division for further corrective action*.


* -- Offer void in north Philadelphia.

06 Nov 2012 10:18 AM
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23FPB23     
Since we moved out into the county, our voting place has been this monument company.

Yes, after you vote you can peruse headstones.

When we lived in town, we voted at the community center of a local housing project.

Well, strictly speaking its a housing project, but in a town of 14k or so, its not exactly "tha prahjex".

06 Nov 2012 10:18 AM
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Teresaol31     

This text is now purple: 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.

1. Church gymnasiums aren't terrible busy on Tuesday mornings.
2. Schools are


It's a town with 300 people in it and districts with 10 times as many students manage to use their gyms! So those excuses are ever so much bullshiat.

06 Nov 2012 10:19 AM
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JohnCarter     
Vote in the school, drive by 2 other polling place to get to mine, not sure why that is. Cold and rainy here so the PTSA had a bake sale and coffee being sold. No kiddies in the school today. Good times, saw the neighbors and other folks.

Always interesting to see who is actually in your precinct.

06 Nov 2012 10:20 AM
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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.

06 Nov 2012 10:21 AM
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db2     
Mergen is currently as assistant professor of art and photography at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

Zynga will sue!

06 Nov 2012 10:21 AM
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MorrisBird    [TotalFark]  
I vote at the country club. LA DI DA!

06 Nov 2012 10:26 AM
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Bippal     

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Bippal: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Bippal: Quick question since this is a voting themed thread, went to vote this morning, and noticed the electronic voting machine's password was 1234, asked the lady about it and she said "yea I think they all are in this town". Wtf? Doesn't that sound like a problem that no one cares?

It certainly could be depending on what access that password gives. I'd report it right now if I were you.

The way it worked, you have to put in the password, then it lets you vote, you can just hit single party ticket, whatever and it prints out a ticket you put into the thing. Doesn't ask for any more information. So you could just print out tickets to vote. You give them your ID to get into the polling place. I could have stood there, put the password in, single ticket voted, password in, repeat. No one watched me. Who would I report to?

Here's what I found..

How to Report Voting Problems
If you experience any problem or confusion while voting report the situation to one of the poll workers or election officials immediately. Do not wait until you have finished voting. If the election officials at the polling place are unable or unwilling to help you, the problem should be reported directly to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. There are no special forms to use or procedures to follow--just call the Civil Rights Division toll-free at (800) 253-3931, or contact them by mail at:

Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division Room 7254 - NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
The Department of Justice also has the authority to station federal election observers and monitors in polling places considered to present a potential for discrimination or other voting rights violations. The jurisdiction of DOJ election observers is not limited to federal-level elections. They may be dispatched to monitor elections for any position, anywhere in the nation, from President of the United states to city dog ...


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.

06 Nov 2012 10:27 AM
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