Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

A poll worker holds a roll of the old “I voted” sticker designs at the Alice Cook House polling location on Nov. 8, 2022.

May 3, 2023

Tompkins County Extends “I Voted” Sticker Contest, Encourages Political Participation Among Youth

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In an announcement Wednesday, the Tompkins County Board of Elections extended its ‘I Voted’ sticker contest for local youth. Extending the deadline a month, the BOE is now accepting submissions until June 1 from students from grades five through 12. The contest is the latest effort from the Board of Elections to encourage political engagement in the area. 

The Tompkins County Board of Elections first announced the contest in an announcement this February. The contest is open to all young people in grades nine through 12, where the six best designs would be selected by the board before entering a public election by members of Tompkins County. 

The announcement included requirements that the design must read “I Voted” somewhere visible and must fit in a two-by-two inch circle. All submissions must be original artworks and can be hand drawn or designed digitally. 

The sticker competition follows a similar initiative that went viral last election cycle in Ulster County, New York, where a 14-year-old won the competition and had his design replicated and sold in multiple online retailers.

The Tompkins County sticker contest is one of the latest initiatives from the local government to increase involvement in local elections, following other efforts like the time-off-to-vote notice from 2019, which requires employers in New York state to provide three hours of time off for workers so they can vote. The announcement poster also emphasized how there are more than 77,000 eligible voters in Tompkins County, but only 55,706 registered voters. 

The Board of Elections expressed their interest in involving young people in the election process and enthusiasm at the prospect of a more engaged community. 

“Initiatives like this are great ways to draw interest to elections in years when there aren’t presidential campaigns. I think people will be excited about the young people who’ve shared their artwork with us to celebrate voting,” said Democratic Elections Commissioner Stephen Dewitt in the BOE press release. “We’re very excited to see what creativity we get from local students.”

The complete set of rules and submission link for the sticker competition can be accessed here.