A presiding officer and a clerk drink cups of tea next to heaters to keep warm as they sit inside their polling station at Ace Laundrette in Oxford, England, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Britain is holding an early election in wintry December, with a number of strange locations put in use as polling places. Among the places where Britons cast their ballots Tuesday were a car dealership, a laundrette, a Christmas grotto and of course some pubs. There were a few problems, including flooding at one location. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Laundromat, car dealership, grotto and pubs used in UK vote

December 12, 2019 - 11:13 am

LONDON (AP) — Some citizens in the English city of Oxford could have been forgiven for bringing their dirty laundry with them when they went to their polling station to cast their vote in Britain's first December general election in nearly a century.

That's because the Ace Launderette was pressed into service as a polling station in the early election called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to break the Brexit stalemate. Most British elections take place in springtime.

There were plenty of odd locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,

In the town of Hampshire, people exercising their democratic privilege could also have checked out automobiles for sale at the Petersfield Used Car Centre. And in the West Midlands town of Dudley, a rather bare converted shipping container was designated as a voting booth.

More fun was to be had in the picturesque pubs used as voting centers in the countryside. There were also more traditional locations, such as small town halls and churches.

Given the time of year, voters couldn't escape Christmas. In the southwest England town of Minehead, a Santa's grotto was used for voting.

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Corrects name of launderette in Oxford to Ace Launderette.

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