A recent electionline article “Stuck on you” sought to explain the appeal of “I Voted” stickers.
Apparently the history of the “I Voted” sticker is unclear, although some historians argue that they were introduced in the 1980s and ElectionStickers.com claims to be the purveyor of the original “I Voted” sticker.
Nevertheless, the sticker has become a cultural icon, and is a badge worn proudly. Capitalizing on Election Day press, a number of companies have used the sticker to increase foot traffic by offering freebies and promotions to voters. Of course, due to regulations that prohibit payments when federal candidates are on the ballot, most of these offers are ultimately available to any individual—whether or not they voted.
Despite the sticker’s traditional appeal, the Ohio secretary of state’s office recently sought to change things up with an “Elect Your Sticker!” contest. 60,000 people voted and the winning sticker (seen above) will make its polling place debut this November.
While some counties are eliminating the stickers to save costs, others are making sure that all voters have them, including those who vote via absentee ballots. Despite being a vote-by-mail county, Pierce County includes stickers in Voters’ Pamphlets and encouraged voters to wear them and “remind everyone of this important civic duty.”