Polling Stations Ran Out Of "I Voted" Stickers So People Got Creative By Making Their Own
“Of course my polling place didn’t have any stickers, so I had to improvise.”
It’s Election Day in the US, and people are flocking to the polls in droves to cast their votes.
But as Americans headed to their designated voting places, some were surprised to find out that the unthinkable had happened: Some facilities had run out of the popular “I Voted” stickers.
Cindy Draughon, a 54-year-old business analyst living in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said her polling station was a small school with three voting booths, and when she finished filling out her ballot, she asked officials, “Hey, where’s my sticker?”
“And they said ‘We don’t have them,’ and I went, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Draughon told BuzzFeed News.
In a way, the shortage of stickers could be seen as indicative of a healthy turnout, which is arguably a good problem to have considering this election season has been marred by issues like voter suppression.
Draughon said polling officials didn’t give her any alternative options for a sticker, so she went out and made her own.
And she wasn’t the only one — many others got crafty to make the most of their stickerless voting experiences.
Draughon, shown above, said she found a print online and used a piece of tape to stick it to her shirt.
Dawn Lamothe, a 45-year-old woman living in New Hampshire who described herself as a “homemaker and mom to six kids,” said her polling station was “definitely busy.”
“Most of the booths were full the whole time we were there,” Lamothe said.
Her husband voted earlier than she did, but he didn’t see any stickers at his polling station. And though she was “not sure of the situation,” Lamothe said other people in their town got stickers.
“Hey! I did my civic duty, too!” Lamothe said, describing how she felt about wanting to be involved with everyone else on social media who got a sticker.
“So I came home, grabbed some paper, craft scissors, and Sharpies and made my own!” she said. “And then I stuck it on with packing tape. It’s a badge of pride.”
Absentee balloters participated too.
Jacquelyn Kozak, a 22-year-old creative coordinator for Getty Images, said she believes "that stickers should also be given to people that vote via mail."
Kozak agreed with someone on her Twitter timeline who proposed the idea of having stickers included in the envelope with the ballot.
“Absentee ballots want to be proud of their votes too!” said Kozak, who tagged outspoken American Horror Story actor Billy Eichner in her tweet so he could “see that all his talk about voting was working.”
“He’s been tweeting about voting since the summer, and I think he's a big part of the reason I was looking forward to voting so much," Kozak said. "He interacts with voting talk on Twitter all the time — he genuinely cares that people are getting involved.”
Kozak added that the arrows on her self-made sticker were “just for emphasis on the word ‘voted.’”
Eichner wasn’t the only celebrity who got people excited about voting.
The Office actor John Krasinski was tagged in one tweet with a handmade sticker. Krasinski was also busyretweeting people on his timeline who voted.
And the creativity and effort some put into making their own stickers was impressive.
Beth Johnson said her polling place gave out hand-drawn Post-it Notes with “👁 voted” illustrated on the paper.
A person named Krista said they “had to improvise” by writing “I voted” on their hand.
Drew Gobbleser kept it simple and wrote his proof of voting out on a note card.
Angela Tricarico said she voted by mail and was “so excited” to make her own sticker — and she was heavy on the patriotism with the red, white, and blue coloring.
It seems this social activity highlighted that a few people may have a wealth of untapped artistic abilities.
Michael Franco, a 20-year-old college student who works in food service, said his polling facility was “extremely packed” and it was “hard to get in and out.”
Stickers were also gone by 10 a.m., the Connecticut resident said.
“They didn’t say exactly why they ran out, although I’m assuming because it was so packed, that’s probably why,” Franco said.
He went home and found an old envelope to trace out an oval "and make it look like the real sticker with pens and Sharpies.”
It seems one of the winners on Election Day was not only democracy, but talent.
And finally, there was one sticker in particular that pretty much summed up the importance of the election: making sure American democracy endures.