Polling Place Photo Project

This email was sent to me by a colleague:

Good morning,

So I’m having a conversation with the development officer from AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) yesterday and she tells me about a project one of their members started.  I was surprised that I wasn’t aware of it so if you all know about this forgive me for being late to the party.

Volunteers have now submitted more than 6,000 photographs from polling places around the country and anybody can look at them online. The provide insight into both the differences and similarities of the voting experience for Americans on election day.  One thing that is clear to me is that polling place signage really sucks just about everywhere – particularly the seemingly simple task of letting people know from the outside of a building that there is a polling place inside.  I also was struck by the pictures of polling places that are inside churches.  When I was an elections administrator I heard arguments that churches must be made available for voting because they’re the only buildings in many precincts that are accessible and have suitable parking.  After looking at these I’m more sympathetic to voters who complain about voting in a church.

If, like me, you weren’t aware of this resource I encourage you to take a look. I found it oddly mesmerizing to keep moving through the photo sets. At times I was disturbed and at times I was gratified by what I saw.