Voting is an important part of maintaining our democracy – and it feels even better when we receive a sticker to do it.
While they might seem like a small token of participation, “I Voted” stickers help normalize voting as an expected social norm – political scientists have highlighted that people are more likely to vote when they think that others around them vote, too. Wearing your sticker with pride can lead a friend, family member, or colleague to cast their ballot!
As jurisdictions around the country announce “I Voted” sticker contests ahead of the 2024 elections, I took a look at some recent awesome designs (assuming, of course, that you already know of the “Demon Spider-Crab” sticker that went viral in 2022). Here are some of my favorites!
Courtesy LAFC; Hamilton | Hollywood Pantages Theatre; LA Kings
In 2020, Los Angeles voting centers handed out special edition stickers related to local entertainment and sports teams. The Staples Center handed out Lakers and Kings-branded “I Voted” stickers to those who cast a ballot at their site, and the Hollywood Pantages Theatre handed out stickers with the “Hamilton” logo (which pairs well with Baltimore’s “We the People’ sticker). I wouldn’t mind waiting in line for one of these stickers, and some Los Angeles residents have even tried to trade and collect them all!
Source: Alaska Division of Elections/WKMG ClickOrlando
I also loved the stickers released by Alaska’s Division of Elections, celebrating the 19th Amendment’s centennial and the diversity of the state. The stickers were available in 10 languages: English, Spanish, Koyukon, Gwich’in, Aleut, Tagalog, Alutiiq, Northern Inupiaq, Nunivak Cup’ig and Yup’ik.
Photo: Jason R. Wickersty
Unfortunately, not all polling locations distribute stickers on election day – but it hasn’t stopped voters from creating some of their own. As a fellow New Jerseyian, I loved this Twitter user’s DIY Taylor ham sticker! A sticker like this might function well if you’re hungry after waiting in line, too.
Source: Christine Liu
Of course, I have to include one for our scientists. As a science educator, I love any chance to represent my love for democracy and science.
Back in 2016, the U.C. Berkeley Science Policy Group created an initiative called STEM Votes to increase the voter turnout among STEM students. Scientist and artist Christine Liu created a template set to promote the campaign. While the free template available was designed for buttons, I’ve printed them as small stickers in the past, and they’re always a hit at on-campus voting drives!
If you’re part of a campus community, I encourage you to get involved with your institutions’ existing initiatives to mobilize student voters, or see if they have a partnership with organizations like Students Learn, Students Vote or Campus Vote Project. You can also explore resources on best practices for engaging students.
For STEM faculty looking for resources, Science Rising has tips and modules for use in the classroom, and Students Learn, Students Vote has created a science and civics guide to prompt discussions around science and democracy. Whether you are a student yourself, a staff member, or faculty member at a college campus, you can promote a culture of civic engagement at their institution.
Let’s all do our part to ensure that student voters make their voices heard in every election!