What would you rather get when you finish voting? A sticker or a little sheet of paper?
Today was the first time I got a sticker today for voting, but I rather miss the scrap of paper from Chicago.
As I placed my sticker on my jacket this morning, I felt a little self-conscious. Almost like I was a little kid or something getting a gold star. But I reassured myself that, “hey! I’m visually telling people to vote. Because I don’t talk to anyone the train, I can’t tell people to vote. But maybe they’ll see my sticker, and they will be like, ‘oh, yeah, I need to vote.'”
The sticker is something people wear to say, “hey, look how cool I am! I voted!” The benefit is that people will see your coolness and it will remind them to vote to be cool too.
Stickers are great. They seem better than a simple piece of paper that the city of Chicago hands out. I always felt kinda disappointed when I would get the scrap of paper instead of a sticker.
But now with voting for the first time outside of Chicago (in suburban Oak Park), I rather miss that sheet of paper. That sheet of paper functions more like a document. A mini certificate. Stickers don’t really act like a certificate, but Chicago’s tiny piece of paper does.
And what happens when you get this piece of paper? You can’t stick it onto yourself (unless you are tricky and bring tape with you to the polling place). You are left holding this piece of paper–so what better thing to do than to PHOTOGRAPH your piece of paper to show people that you voted! I often liked to photograph my voting certificate with the context of the background where I voted. Chances are that more people online will see your photo than the sticker on your jacket, so the photo might actually be more effective in reminding people to vote.
Plus, with the photo you have an archive for many years. The sticker on your jacket gets removed the next day, thrown into the recycling bin.
The Chicago ballot receipt is customized for every election. Granted, the customization is just the date, but still. You know this receipt was specifically for that election. The voting stickers (at least from Cook County) have no such date. Heck, I could save my sticker for the November elections and wear it. Hmmm. What do you think would happen if I showed up in November wearing an “I voted” sticker on my jacket? The pollsters would surely be suspicious.
While voting stickers are cool, Chicago’s voting scrap is actually kinda nice.