Ulster County unveils viral ‘I Voted’ sticker design




CNN

The unique “I Voted” stickers that took the Internet by storm in July have finally made their way into the hands of voters.

The whimsical and brightly colored design was made by Hudson Rowan, a 14-year-old boy living in New York’s Ulster County. Rowan was the winner of the county’s second contest to design the “I Voted” sticker, a project created to encourage young people to participate in the voting process. The design quickly gained popularity on the Internet, with a clearer and more explicit design standing out among other designs associated with voting.

Early voting began Oct. 29 in New York, and voters are more excited than ever to get their “I Voted” stickers, election officials said.

Ashley Dittus, the Ulster County Commissioner of Elections, told CNN that she came up with the idea for the sticker contest to “engage with young people.”

“We always go to high schools to register students [to vote] every spring Half the time they don’t really pay attention, they don’t really care”, he explained.

The competition invited young people from across the region to submit their own sticker designs, incorporating “something specifically from the youth of the community” into the voting process.

The election commission shared the top six sticker designs online so people could vote for their favorite.

Rowan’s design “kept being shared,” Dittus said. “People were saying it’s very different, it really captures the essence of the political spirit.”

The design features a humanoid face with a pink and purple face, glowing red eyes, and a six-legged body with neon hair and teeth. The message “I voted” is drawn in bright red.

Almost overnight, the design garnered thousands of votes, Dittus said. The previous year, the electoral commission had implemented measures to prevent users from voting twice from the same IP address, so they knew the vote flood was real.

The neon spider monster ended up getting over 228,000 votes.

Rowan and his family love the popularity of its unusual design, Dittus said. “His mother is very proud. It’s a very good sport.”

The sticker design has become beloved both in Ulster County and across the Internet.

And voters love the unique sticker. “People are absolutely obsessed with it,” Dittus added. Some voters also said they “came and voted early because they wanted to get it before it sold out.”

Two friends even tattooed the design, Dittus said. “We’re having a lot of fun with it,” he said.

About 12,000 residents participated in the voting from Thursday afternoon, according to the electoral commissioner.

Voters are “definitely in a better mood,” Dittus said. “Through Covid-19, all the political conflict, the work we do here has been called into question. Unlike other assemblies, we gather a lot of people, denying elections”.

“If the etiquette gets people to come and be nice to the staff at the polling stations, I’d do the same thing every year,” he said.