Think your wait was bad? Photos of voting lines around the world

November 6, 2012

As Americans vote in today's presidential election, many are finding surprisingly long lines at polling places, particularly in the hurricane-hit northeast. Reports of hours-long waits seem to be common.

It's worth putting that in context with a look at polling place lines from around the democratic (and semi-democratic) world. Two big take-aways: first, American lines are not actually that bad compared to much of the developing world's democracies. Second, you pretty much have to go to the developing world to find lines that are consistently longer than America's. There are also some developed-world lines in here that look awfully long.

Still, voters in places such as Egypt or East Timor have given up a lot more than just a few hours in line for the right to select their own leaders, so the burden of waiting to vote might not feel quite as heavy. 


Cairo, Egypt, parliamentary election. November 28, 2011. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)


Dili, East Timor, presidential election. March 17, 2012. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)


Qom, Iran, parliamentary elections. March 2, 2012. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

 


Cairo, Egypt, parliamentary election. November 28, 2011. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

 


Jos, Nigeria, gubernatorial elections. April 26, 2011. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

 


Caracas, Venezuela, presidential election. October 7, 2012. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/GettyImages)

 


Canary Islands, Spain, Venezuelan presidential election. October 7, 2012. (DESIREE MARTIN/AFP/GettyImages)

 


Mexico City, Mexico, presidential election. July 1, 2011. (John Moore/Getty Images)

 


Manila, Philippines, parliamentary elections. May 10, 2010. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

 


Moscow, Russia, parliamentary elections. December 2, 2007. (Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)

 


Port-au-Prince, Haiti, presidential run-off. March 20, 2010. (Lee Celano/Getty Images)

 


Port-au-Prince, Haiti, presidential election. February 7, 2006. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

 


Basra, Iraq, parliamentary election. January 30, 2004. (RICHARD MILLS/AFP/Getty Images)

 


Herat, Afghanistan, presidential election. October 9, 2004. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)


Caracas, Venezuela, Presidential election, Oct. 7, 2012 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Bor, Sudan, Presidential election, April 11, 2010 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Seongnam, South Korea, Presidential election, Dec. 19, 2007 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Hargesia, Somalia, Consitutional Referendum, May 31, 2001 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Maral, Papua New Guinea, General election, June 30, 2007 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Karachi, Pakistan, Provincial assembly election, Oct. 16, 2010 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Kathmandu, Nepal, Constituent Assembly election, April 10, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


San Pedro el Alto, Mexico, Presidential election, July 12, 2012 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Nairobi, Kenya, Presidential election, Dec. 27, 2007 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Nsawkaw, Ghana, Presidential election, Jan. 2, 2009 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Tbilisi, Georgia, Parliamentary election, Oct. 1, 2012 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Marseille, France, Presidential election, April 22, 2012 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Dili, East Timor, Presidential election, March 17, 2012 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Dhaka, Bangladesh, Parliamentary election, Dec. 29, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)

 


Luanda, Angola, Legislative elections, Sept. 5, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)


Bhita, India, State Assembly election, May 3, 2006 (AFP/Getty Images)
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Max Fisher | November 6, 2012