Editor's Pick

Voting In Your Swim Trunks: Why Not?

  • Hide caption
    In Russia, winter swimming enthusiasts leave a polling station after casting their presidential votes near the icy waters of Novosibirsk, 2012.
    Valery Titievsky /AFP/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    In French Guiana, ballot materials are taken to the territory's most isolated villages by helicopter. French civil servant Patrick Arnaud (center) delivers parcels in the village of Trois Sauts in 2012, for the second round of the French parliamentary election.
    Jody Amiet/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    To ensure holiday-goers a chance to vote in Romania, additional polling stations are set up near resorts along the Black Sea coast during a presidential impeachment referendum in 2012.
    Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    Voters cast ballots in municipal elections in Saudi Arabia. In 2011, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections — but not until 2015.
    Hassan Ammar/AP
  • Hide caption
    In Bolivia, a voter casts a ballot on a referendum for a new constitution in the rural town of Chipamaya outside La Paz in 2009.
    Patricio Crooker/Landov
  • Hide caption
    A Hindu woman learns how to use an electronic voting machine at a rural polling booth in Kot, Haryana, India, 2009.
    Saurabh Das/AP
  • Hide caption
    Voters in Zambia stand in line at a polling station in the village of Palabana during the country's general elections, 2006.
    Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    Voters line up in front of a polling station installed in a public school near Brasilia, Brazil, 2010.
    Adriano Machado/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    Women stand in line to vote during state elections in Varanasi, India, 2012.
    Manan Vatsyayana/AFT/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    Voters in Senegal, reflected in a pair of sunglasses, wait to cast ballots in the presidential election in Senegal, 2012.
    Nic Bothma/EPA/Landov
  • Hide caption
    Nuns outside the Vatican watch a telecast of cardinals deliberating at the Papal Conclave to elect a new pope in 2005. The government of Vatican City, an ecclesiastical state, is overseen by the pope of the Roman Catholic church, who can only be elected by male cardinals.
    Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    Villagers submit forms during a poll in Sichuan Province, China, 2009.
    China Photos/Getty Images
  • Hide caption
    In Kyrgyzstan, Toktobubu Jantaliyeva (third from right) casts a presidential ballot as she and her relatives have lunch in their country house in the village of Gornaya, 2005.
    Ivan Sekretarev/AP
  • Hide caption
    In Comoros, electoral agents count ballots by candlelight after the nation voted to replace their incumbent president, 2010.
    Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images

1 of 14

View slideshow i

According to the National Democratic Institute, the world will be watching as results of Tuesday's U.S. presidential election are tabulated. So we thought we'd turn the tables and take a look at how voting is exercised in other countries.

In the U.S., barring the occasional odd polling place, most engaged citizens file into their local elementary schools and churches or, more recently, vote via mail-in ballot.

But abroad we found some unorthodox approaches to voting.

In Romania, a bikini is perfectly fine attire in which to vote, and in rural Kyrgyzstan, the ballot is brought straight to your dinner table.

While I didn't find a polling official at my table this morning, I did cast my vote for the first time in Washington, D.C. I may not live in one of the hotly contested swing states, but I didn't want to miss out on the ritual.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.