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Politics and Government

Who Knew 'I Voted' Stickers Matter?

The Bloomington Election Commission staff is a little surprised people care all that much about getting an "I Voted" sticker on election day.

County Clerk Kathy Michael has made a point of saying her jurisdiction is giving out stickers, but the city is not.

Assistant Bloomington Election Commission Director Cathie Haab said it appears this part of the civic ritual is important to people; "Some people have been asking us, you know, where is our sticker this year. So, we've heard from the voters that they are disappointed not to get one."

Haab says the Commission decided months ago to abandon stickers. "Legislators in the state of Illinois chose to pass a law last summer that if you give an 'I voted' sticker to one person you cannot deny anybody an 'I Voted' Sticker. So we chose not to give 'I Voted' stickers thinking that if we would accidentally run out, we would actually be breaking that new law," she said.

Haab said a question for state representatives and senators is why they chose to pass a law on such a topic.

Haab acknowledged part of the value of the stickers is to encourage people who have not yet voted to do so. But, she said she is surprised at calls from voters indicating the election day ritual matters to them. She said it may be a reach to suggest a lack of stickers could reduce voter turnout over time.

Haab said the commission will assess the issue after the election in its normal after-action feedback session.

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