ShareThis Page

These folks make voters feel right at home at their polling place

| Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, 8:54 p.m.
Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in her garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place  in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in her garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline, sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in the Beechview garage of Marlo Miller, (not pictured) Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place  in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline, sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in the Beechview garage of Marlo Miller, (not pictured) Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline tapes a sign marking the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview as the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline tapes a sign marking the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview as the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of  Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of  Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in her garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place  in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview sets up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in her garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline, set up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in the Beechview garage of Marlo Miller, (not pictured) Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place  in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Eileen McCue, 54, Brookline, set up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in the Beechview garage of Marlo Miller, (not pictured) Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of  Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of  Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections at the 20th Ward, 2nd District polling place sets up a voting machine at the home of Marlo Miller in Beechview before the polls opened, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections and Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview and Majority Clerk set up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in Miller's garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place  in Allegheny County.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rob Peters, 66, of Beechview and Judge of Elections and Marlo Miller, 52, of Beechview and Majority Clerk set up the polling place for the 20th Ward, 2nd District in Miller's garage, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Miller's home is one of the few private residences that serves as a polling place in Allegheny County.

Twice a year, Elizabeth Pazehoski moves her living room furniture to make room for the voters of Trafford District 1 in Allegheny County.

Her house serves as one of just six polling places in the county located in a private home or garage. Pazehoski said she is expecting a big crowd for the presidential election Tuesday — and big appetites.

"In the morning, we usually have coffee and doughnuts out for the workers," Pazehoski said. "For lunch, we usually have hoagies, and for dinner, we usually have a roast and mashed potatoes along with desserts for after dinner."

Private residential polling places are common in Philadelphia, but they are rare in and around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County elections officials said.

Because of a lack of available public buildings in some voting districts, the county has no choice but to have polling places at a private residence, said Mark Wolosik, Allegheny County elections manager.

"The election code provides that polling places be located in the actual election district or adjoining district and be held in public buildings wherever possible," Wolosik said.

Marlo Miller has been hosting polling in her Beechview garage since 1998 for voters in Pittsburgh's 20th Ward, second district.

"I've always worked the polls, and we use to have it at my mom's house," Miller said. "I don't have to move a lot in the garage other than a riding lawn mower that I move outside."

Miller, who has been volunteering at polls for more than three decades, is thankful for modern, electronic voting machines.

"It's not like what it used to be," Miller said. "We had to mark down all the votes.

"But now with the machines, it sort of does that. We just print it out, and it adds it up itself."

Like Pazehoski, Miller also will have food throughout the day for poll workers.

"We usually have everyone pitch in and bring something to eat," she said. "We used to just order stuff out, but we decided that it would be better if everyone just made something."

Miller said the dishes vary from year to year. "The judge of election usually makes hot sauce, but it changes all the time," she said. "This election, I think I am going to make potato soup and sloppy joes. Everybody brings something, but they usually don't say what they are bringing."

Pazehoski said just 10 of the 47 people registered in her district showed up to vote during this past spring's primary, but she expects a big turnout Tuesday.

"I'm sure this one coming up is going to be pretty big," Pazehoski said. "The people usually tend to always show up in big numbers during a presidential year."

Pazehoski said she feels like she is performing her civic duty by hosting the polls.

"I don't mind it at all. I do it for my country and neighbors," she said. "It's a long day, but you get to sit on the couch and watch TV while the day goes on."

Christopher Ward is a freelance writer.


In Beechview, Ashley Murray of Point Park News Service talked to some of the voters who visited Marlo Miller's home, which serves as a polling place.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.