Now You Know





An iconic badge of civic duty since the 1980s, but who created it?
Well, that gets a little sticky.


Now You Know

“I Voted” First?

  • Phoenix Assoc. of Realtors claims it was first in 1985, encouraging turnout by using stickers to remind afternoon voters.
  • But others report the first mention was in Florida in 1982
  • Election supply co. copyrighted iconic waving flag design in 1987.
  • By 1988, stickers were distributed widely throughout the nation.
Now You Know

Beyond Red, White & Blue

Look & size of “I Voted” stickers have changed:

  • Georgia uses a peach.
  • Ohio a silhouette of the state.
  • California’s comes in 13 languages.

Some cities & counties have their own designs while others stopped using the stickers.

Now You Know

Why It Matters

Research is unclear if stickers encourage voting, but a 2016 study found: many Americans vote so we can tell everyone we voted & we don’t want to have to lie if we didn’t.

“…telling people they’re going to be asked about voting will make them more likely to vote.” 

Stefano DellaVigna, Berkeley professor
Now You Know

After Chicago got rid of "I voted" stickers to stop vandalism, angry voters demanded an alternative. In 2016, the city debuted a paper wristband - like you'd get at a nightclub. New bands cost 2 cents per eligible voter ($28K) while the sticker cost less than a penny.

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