[Image via EAC]
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission began to announce its 2019 Clearinghouse Awards, or “Clearies”, this week – including recognizing 5 innovative designs nationwide for the beloved “I Voted” sticker. Here’s the EAC press release:
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced the five winners of the 2019 Clearinghouse “Clearies” Awards for Original and Creative “I Voted” Stickers. Alaska; Clark County, NV; Douglas County, NV; Louisiana; and Washoe County, NV were recognized for their civic-minded and patriotic renditions of the “I Voted” sticker.
Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. To uphold this, the EAC launched the Clearies in 2016 to promote best election practices. The new 2019 award category recognizes the efforts of elections officials to incorporating a local flair to the celebrated American tradition of the “I Voted” sticker. These stickers are an inexpensive way election officials help voters show their pride in participating in their civic duty.
“Presidential election years present unique challenges for election officials and voting has already begun in the Nation’s first primary,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick. “As election officials buckle down for a busy election year, we are excited to announce the Creative and Original Sticker honorees to recognize election officials across the country who did exceptional work in 2019 for outreach to voters through this American tradition. The recipients of these awards displayed a tremendous understanding of their voters and local artistry in their service to the community. On behalf of myself and my three fellow Commissioners, I congratulate their achievements and look forward to seeing their contributions from 2019 continue in the 2020 elections and beyond.”
Alaska, Division of Elections
In 2017, an elections official discovered a creative “I voted” sticker featuring a bear at a local store. Inspired, the elections office worked with an Alaskan artist to produce stickers for the 2018 elections with various Alaskan animals. Stickers included the moose, walrus, raven, Dungeness crab, king crab, eagle, caribou, and beaver. The stickers were enthusiastically received: voters across the state picked their favorites and started social media campaigns around the initiative. The stickers were also produced in Alaska’s Native Language.
Clark County Elections Department, Nevada
The colorful Clark County, Nevada, “I Voted” sticker was designed to reflect civic pride and encourage voting through a unique sticker that incorporates iconic elements of Las Vegas in a patriotic motif. Designed in the shape of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, the sticker portrays the Las Vegas Strip skyline in red, white, and blue colors alongside the Statue of Liberty. In use since 2016, it coordinates with the graphics and materials used for the elections division’s outreach slogan of “Don’t Lose Your Voice, Vote.”
Douglas County, Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, Nevada
In the fall of 2019, the county collaborated with the Nevada’s Office of the Secretary of State and a local artist to create an accessible braille “I voted” sticker for use in the 2020 elections. As noted in their competition submission, “we are very hopeful that this campaign will catch on. With so many visually impaired and blind people across our country, its innovative design should help draw many people with or without disabilities to the polls.” Along with the stickers colorful artistry and rich local design, the “white dots” indicate the braille and will be raised by a die impression at the printers. In braille it says, “I Voted Today!”
Louisiana Secretary of State
Louisiana is unique in many ways. From its 64 parishes to its melting pot of cultures, the Bayou State is one-of-a-kind. In 2018, Louisiana’s Secretary of State chose a local artist to create the art for the fall election cycle’s sticker. The result, “In Love with Louisiana,” features an artistic rendition of the state’s bird, the brown pelican, and the seal.
Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office, Nevada
In 2018, in conjunction with the introduction of new county-wide election machinery, Washoe County updated their “I Voted” sticker. The elections office wanted a new original sticker to go with the fresh look of the new voting machines and operations. The sticker features the Sierra mountains in the background and the city skyline to celebrate civic pride and the county’s picturesque landscape.
Now in its fourth year, the “Clearie” awards recognize the innovative efforts of election officials across the U.S. The EAC’s four Commissioners, Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Benjamin Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks judged the “I voted” sticker submissions. Stickers were evaluated in four areas: creativity, originality, local flare, and artistic aesthetic.
The rise of jurisdiction-specific I Voted stickers has been a fun and exciting development nationwide, with many communities finding ways to involve students, citizens and others in the process of designing these simple but effective tools for voter outreach. Thanks to the EAC for adding the sticker competition to its Clearies process – and congratulations to the five winners and all the other entrants (pictured above) for sharing your creativity with the field. [NOTE: There are many other Clearie winners being announced as well and we’ll get to them all starting again next week!] Stay tuned!