Leather bar The Eagle, the Museum of Ice Cream, and various breweries and theaters are filling in as temporary polling places as San Francisco is set to break turnout records in this bizarre pandemic election.
San Francisco polls opened at 7 a.m. this morning, and the Chronicle is predicting a record turnout that exceeds even the all-time high of 87% back in 1944. (That’s because some 333,000 of us have already done the deed, either by mail or early voting). But to keep lines and crowds as small as possible, the city has anointed an array of very unconventional polling places this time around.
We’ve assembled this list of the most eccentric and unusual of the one-off 2020 San Francisco polling places, to hopefully bring you some comfort and smiles as you nervously stress-eat carbs and ice cream pints, and pound La Croix until likely switching to whiskey at 4 p.m. PT when the first few U.S. states start reporting their vote tallies.
Starting election coverage today in a very San Francisco way. The notorious leather bar SF Eagle is being used as a polling place for the first time, music and disco ball included @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/zuju2ImJKO— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) November 3, 2020
SoMa leather bar The Eagle may be facing an uncertain future, but it’s also helping us determine the country’s future as a polling place today. The Chron reports that their disco ball is going in full swing, with doors open to improve ventilation. “This is a space for community and that’s the right place to be as a polling place,” Eagle owner Lex Monteil told the Chronicle. “We are happy to be doing our part.”
Museum of Ice Cream (1 Grant Ave) in Union Square is an official polling place. How "sweet" for those in precinct 7348 voting in person or for anyone dropping off their ballots, open Tues, Nov 3, 7am - 8pm. @DPNA @icecreammuseum @SFElections #VoteSFhttps://t.co/tkwoNaiJ60 pic.twitter.com/PtOnWtU38I— Union Square, SF (@UnionSquareSF) November 1, 2020
Museum of Ice Cream
Where better to stress-eat those pints of ice cream than the Museum of Ice Cream? It is a polling place, though hilariously, the Chronicle has the scoop that the ice cream bazaar is “boarding up windows in anticipation of post election unrest.”
Balboa Theater and Brava Theater
Concessions are not being served at the Richmond’s Balboa Theater and the Mission’s Brave Theater, but voters are being served with ballots and the obligatory red stickers.
Warriors coach casts ballot, then greets Chase Center voters - Santa Rosa Press Democrat https://t.co/rxwJYB9360— Fantasy Baseball Guys (@FantasyMLBguyz) November 3, 2020
A few lucky voters got to meet and hobnob with Warriors coach Steve Kerr when he voted there on Saturday, and coach was handing out Warriors-theme “I Voted” stickers according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
HAPPY ELECTION DAY! Almanac is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today (11/3) as an accessible voting location! Shout out to all the incredible volunteers that have been working long hours and making it possible for us to cast our votes safely. Let's do this! 🗳️💪 #vote2020 #VOTE pic.twitter.com/dnLIYWnDCg— Almanac Beer Co (@AlmanacBeer) November 3, 2020
Almanac Beer Co.
Over in the East Bay, taproom and brewery Almanac Beer Co. is also filling in as a polling place. They cannot serve alcohol while functioning as such, but check those sweet custom stickers they made for their voters.
With all of these wild new one-time polling places, you may need to find your San Francisco polling place. That Department of Elections web tool also tells you how long you can expect to wait to vote.
Top Image: A voter enters a polling station at the Museum of Ice Cream on November 3, 2020 in San Francisco, California. After a record-breaking early voting turnout, Americans head to the polls on the last day to cast their votes for incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)