Peculiar Polling Places

By Mallory Hughes

As Chicagoans went out to the polls on Election Day, common voting locations included nearby schools or churches, maybe an apartment building or a library.

Some voters had a little bit more of an adventure.

Feeling fancy? Folks on the Near North Side in the 2nd Ward got to vote at The Drake Hotel, electing officials near the iconic initials of Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio.

In West Lawn’s 13th Ward, voters headed to the local Laundromat, Su Nueva Lavanderia, 4314 W Marquette Rd. The location remained open for business throughout the day.

“People have learned over the years not to do their laundry on Election Day,” said poll worker Mary Zintak. “We take up a lot of space.”

The nearby Delias Beauty Salon, 2810 W 55 St, was closed for the day.

Some Chicagoans even voted at a hair salon. (Dean DeChiaro/Medill)
Some Chicagoans even voted at a hair salon. (Dean DeChiaro/Medill)

Regardless, Valerie Meyer, a salon stylist and poll worker, said she wouldn’t hesitate if someone walked in looking for a cut.

“I have a bowl,” she said. “I’d put it right on top of their head.”

Thirsty voters went to Wicker Park to get a brew with their ballot at Lucky Club, 1824 W. Wabansia Ave.

The bar has been a polling place for the last 30 years, and possibly another 30 years before that, said Jim Higgins, the Lucky Club owner.

“People like it because it makes them feel like it’s the way Chicago voting used to be,” Higgins said. “In the old days, taverns were assembly places for neighbors to talk politics and sports.

This year’s eccentric polling places included nine restaurants, a coffee shop and a few other bars scattered across the Windy City’s wards.



♦♦♦ Hotel | ♦♦♦ Museums | ♦♦♦ Bar
♦♦♦ Bowling Alley | ♦♦♦ Hotel | ♦♦♦ Hair Salon
♦♦♦ Car dealership | ♦♦♦ Restaurant

Source: Chicago Board of Elections

Dean DeChiaro, Henry Gu, Meredith Wilson and Meghan Morris contributed to reporting.

Chicagoans of the 13th ward cast their votes at Su Nueva Lavanderia. (Dean DeChiaro/Medill)