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Gay bars in Houston and San Francisco transform into polling sites

"Vote in the front. Party in the back!"
Image: Voters line up at a polling station on Election Day in Houston
Voters leave Buddy's Houston, the world's first presidential polling location at an LGBTQ+ bar, on Election Day in Houston.Callaghan O'Hare / Reuters

Buddy's, an LGBTQ bar in Houston, transformed itself into a polling location on Tuesday.

"It’s been wonderful! The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. The poll workers are excited. There’s a lot of great energy. We’re all very excited about the whole process," Chris Barry, the bar's owner, told NBC News shortly before the polls closed.

Located in Houston's gay-friendly Montrose neighborhood, Buddy's brought in over a dozen voting booths where anyone registered to vote in Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, could cast their ballot until 7 p.m. CT.

“I think every election is important, so I think it’s exciting to deliver something new for our community,” Barry said.

The tagline for Buddy's Election Day event — which is expected to have cocktails, karaoke and drag queens — is "Vote in the front. Party in the back!"

In a post shared to its Facebook page, the venue claims to be the "world's 1st presidential polling location from an LGBTQ+ bar."

However, it has company: The Eagle, a gay leather bar in San Francisco, is also letting voters cast their ballots at the venue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper reported that voters filled out their ballots "under chains hanging from pitch black ceilings" as a "disco ball spun overhead."

"The Eagle has always been a place to bring the community together, so being a polling place is part of our mission," Alex Montiel, owner of The Eagle, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Cynthia Silva contributed.