In an effort to rally young people’s interest in the election process and voting and build a future base of voters, Genesee County Board of Elections is sprinkling a little fun into what can otherwise be a dry topic.
The “I Voted” sticker contest is being promoted to students in grades five through 12 in art or in government classes throughout county school districts and home schools. They are being encouraged to create original artwork used with the words “I Voted” to celebrate that American privilege, and a grand winner, plus prizes for first, second and third will be awarded to the top selected entries.
Democratic Election Commissioner Lorie Longhany became a lead organizer of the project after a staff member brought the idea forward in December, she said. Other counties have begun similar contests, and Longhany looks forward to the end results locally after the April 21 deadline.
“We are beginning to set up demonstrations in the schools so that young people will feel comfortable with the process. We also hope to bring in some young people as poll workers. We had several train and help us during and after the pandemic,” Longhany said. “Our bi-partisan staff will be the judges for the contest. We plan on having a staff meeting after all designs have been submitted and spreading all the submissions out on our conference room table.
“As a former art teacher, this is very exciting for me. I had my students participate in the STOP DWI campaign and was a huge fan of the 4th grade Landmark Society contest, as well as the GCASA poster contests,” she said.
The grand prize winner’s design will be made into stickers for voters during the Primary and General elections, including Early Voting, Longhany said. First, second and third place entries will be used in social media content and for other voting-related outreaches, she said.
“We will also send out a press release after the submissions are judged,” she said. "We usually order several thousand stickers each year. Voters look forward to receiving their stickers after they sign in to vote. We want this to be a yearly project and are hoping it will grow in popularity.”
For a list of the rules and more information, go to I VOTED.