Neighborhood churches, school gymnasiums, fire stations and other public buildings normally come to mind as places where people cast their votes.
But come Nov. 4, some voters in Sierra Vista will cast ballots in a gym. Voters in Window Rock on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona will vote at a museum.
It’s an untraditional setting to exercise one’s democratic rights.
Unless you’re into exercise, says Danny Diaz, an employee at Buena Fitness in Sierra Vista.
“There is not any more of a conflict of interest here, than say a church,” said Diaz, whose family owns the gym. “It’s a great location for voting; it’s convenient, accessible, easy to find.”
This is the first time the gym will double as a polling place, he said. Voters in Sierra Vista’s 28th Precinct will cast ballots in a secluded room used to hold fitness classes. Diaz joked that they can put in a workout.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission advises that a polling place provide sufficient parking and have handicap accessibility. Polling places also “should be located close to major traffic arteries for easy access.”
In Apache County’s Precinct 88 voting will be in a conference room at the Navajo Nation Museum.
“It is an interesting choice for a polling place because I would think it would take somewhere like a school,” said Nate Bitsoie, the museum representative.
There is always a lot going on at the museum, so voters might want to stick around and take a tour, Bitsoie suggested.
“I expect people will end up going through the museum,” he said. “Maybe more than half will visit and the others will vote and leave.”
[learn_more caption=”Voting in your area” state=”open”]
- Arizona voters will go to the polls Nov. 4.
- Check with your local board of elections for polling places.
- Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. [/learn_more]