Mariachi bands and bell ringing: 8 uplifting moments from US election day

US election day isn’t known for being enjoyable, but some people (and animals) are trying to increase the fun factor

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Election days can be fraught. Voters worry about getting their ballot in on time, opposing sides snipe at each other and it can all feel a little overwhelming.

But here are eight moments of joy from polling day:

1. A surprise serenade

Voters at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles were surprised by a mariachi band. The baseball team had two reasons to celebrate: hosting voting early and on the day, and winning the world series last week for the first time since 1988.

Mariachi band serenades Los Angeles voters

Mariachi band serenades Los Angeles voters

After voting, baseball fans were given a Dodgers-themed sticker and allowed to look out over the field.

2. Bell ringing for first-time voters

First-time voters in Washington DC were treated to rounds of applause and the ringing of a special bell in one polling place. The National's Cody Combs recorded the touching moment.

3. Earliest result returned for 60th year

The tiny town of Dixville Notch, near the Canadian border, returned the earliest result for the 60th year in a row. It was a sweep for former vice president Joe Biden, who won the town’s five votes.

4. Dogs saved the day

MIAMI, FLORIDA- NOVEMBER 03: Auggie Mejia holding his dog, Baby, casts his ballot at the Legion Park polling place on November 03, 2020 in Miami, Florida. After a record-breaking early voting turnout, Americans head to the polls on the last day to cast their vote for incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.   Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP
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Auggie Mejia holding his dog, Baby, casts his ballot at the Legion Park polling place in Miami, Florida. AFP

In a bid to entertain and encourage people out to the polls, voters shared photographs of their pets dolled up in campaign merchandise.

5. Dancing to the polls

Many dancers were captured in polling queues, but the 90-year-old Ms Mildred took the medal for most stylish and enthusiastic. She boogied to Shame by Evelyn King.

6. Running to the polls

Another fun moment caught on camera as this gentleman hurried to exercise his democratic rights.

7. Kamala Harris celebrated in ancestral home

Prayers for Kamala Harris in her ancestral Indian village

Prayers for Kamala Harris in her ancestral Indian village

Villagers from the southern Indian ancestral home of US vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris prayed on Tuesday for her victory.
Ms Harris was born in California but was often taken to India by her mother, Shyamala Gopalan.
Her maternal grandfather PV Gopalan, a senior Indian civil servant, was born in Thulasendrapuram village in Tamil Nadu state.
"The entire village is rooting for her," villager Rajesh told AFP.

8. OK, we know you want more dancing

Here are some of the best dancers from polling day, many inspired by the Joy to the Polls movement, a non-partisan group playing music and encouraging a happy vibe among people in line to vote.

"We wanted to figure out a way so while people are outside of the polling station, we can bring them a feeling of safety and a feeling of joy," Nelini Stamp, an organiser for the group, told The Guardian.

They even got Congress members involved.

If you want to dance too, why not try out the Joy to the Polls playlist, as shared by Foo Fighters?