In 2020, election sites are looking a little different: an art museum, a pro-basketball arena, new mobile voting vehicles and even a bar that combines football with bowling.
These are some of the unique polling locations in Atlanta, Georgia, as local government leaders are partnering with those venues to make it easier for people to cast their ballots.
“This is so something you would not expect,” said Jon Dilley, general manager of Fowling Warehouse,a 25,000-square-foot bar that’s being transformed into a unique polling location.
Customer Elliot Anderson is excited during this election season to grab a beer and fill out a ballot at Fowling Warehouse.
“Just opening up different places to vote,” he said. “That’s always going to be good.”
Across Atlanta, new mobile voting vehicles are opening up new opportunities for people living in areas described as “voting deserts.”
“This is more of an African American community,” said voter Davonne Reaves of her neighborhood on Atlanta’s east side. “The lines are a lot longer and sometimes that can actually discourage people to vote.”
Reaves says this voting process took less than 30 minutes and that these new mobile polling buses help encourage her community to get more involved with politics.
“I think with this bus, this is actually going to create a movement,” she said. “We’ll probably see more of these types of buses and more creative locations for people to get out and vote.”
Creative ways to make sure people’s votes are collected in a timely manner.
“When it comes down to it, even the most engaged voters may be not be able to spend two or three hours in line,” said Robert Preuhs, Ph.D., chair of the political science department at MSU Denver.
Preuhs says more options give more voters a greater chance at getting involved in the political process.
“Having more polling places, whether they’re unique or not, close to them really is going to matter in terms of the ability for people to make their voice heard,” he said.
More voices heard and more votes counted for what could turn out to be the most unique election in U.S. history.