When Americans go to the polls, they go to town halls, high school gyms, fire stations, and churches. There are more than 60,000 polling places in America, and roughly one out of every five is located in a church.
Conflicts over the correct relationship between religious communities and the state frequently grab headlines. But church polling places are rarely controversial. Here, governments rely on churches to be safe, trusted civic spaces. And 12,875 houses of worship extend hospitality to their neighbors, opening their doors for elections.
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