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Eight of America’s Most Unusual Polling Places



Election Day in the United States is November third. Polling places will be set up in schools, government buildings, churches, laboratories, and laundromats. Wait, what? Freelance photographer Ryan Donnell has been documenting some pretty strange places that local governments have set up for voting. As long as a place is accessible to the disabled, and passes local requirements such as parking space, it can be used as a polling location. Donnell has found 61 such polling places that are interesting enough to photograph and share.

“[The Su Nueva Laundromat] is probably the most popular one because I think it's just the weirdest shot, you know, with the dryers and stuff like that,” Donnell says. “Again, it just shows this diversity and this wonderful multi-ethnicity aspect to American voting.” Su Nueva, a 10-minute walk from Lawn Lanes, is also located in West Lawn and is the official polling place for about 700 registered voters. Since he photographed the place in 2012, Donnell has noticed that now every election cycle, the spot will pop up in local coverage of Chicago polling places.

See seven other unusual polling places from Donnell's travels at Smithsonian.


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