SLIDESHOW: Community Space to Polling Place – Next City

SLIDESHOW: Community Space to Polling Place

Credit: Allyn Gaestel

Most voters in Philly reported to their local school, community center, church, mosque or synagogue to cast ballots yesterday, but a few got a more colorful assignment. From beauty parlors where “I Voted Today!” stickers competed with combs and brushes for table space, to auto repair shops where voters sidestepped stacks of tires to reach the voting booths, Philadelphia this year re-imagined community space to serve a civic function on election day.

At one coffee shop-turned-voter station, a sign pasted to the door directed, “voting to the left/coffee to the right.” A barista said the ward had approached the cafe to host the polling because it has a large back room and is handicap accessible.

In South Philly, voting instruction posters shared counter space with colorful menus and neon signs at a Vietnamese Restaurant in a strip mall chosen, said one democratic committee member, for its sizable parking lot.

See below for photos from some of Philly’s quirkier polling places.

Gallery: Unlikely Philly Polling Places

All photos by Allyn Gaestel

Allyn Gaestel is currently a Philadelphia Fellow for Next City. Much of her work centers on human rights, inequality and gender. She has worked in Haiti, India, Nepal, Mali, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Bahamas for outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, CNN and Al Jazeera. She tweets @allyngaestel.

Tags: philadelphiavoting2012 presidential election