“Ward 64, Precinct 11, Philadelphia, Pa., 2008,” by Michael Mergen (via The Halls of Democracy: Places of Civic Responsibility - LightBox)
After combing through thousands of polling sites on Excel spreadsheets, the photographer then chose stations located in private homes or unusual businesses; his journeys have taken him to pizza parlors, living rooms, garages, funeral homes and other eccentric spots scattered across Philadelphia. His eight years of work have yielded three revealing yet non-partisan series aptly titled, Vote, Deliberate and Naturalization, which collectively seek to underscore the importance of citizen-driven governance.
These are lovely series. They convey an absurdity inherent in our civic processes: momentous decisions made under circumstances that are banal or bizarre or both. But they don’t triviliaze them. They seem to me both solemn and reservedly hopeful. Also quite lovely.