If I vote by mail, can I still get an ‘I Voted’ sticker?

Stock image/Photo by Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

It’s amazing how some tiny oval stickers have become just as synonymous with Election Day as registration cards, voting precincts and the terms “blue state” and “red state.”

Many people seem to love those "I Voted” stickers that are handed out once a ballot is turned in, and they proudly display them on their chests throughout the day.

But why are they so popular, and do they have an impact on voter turnout?

Here are some answers to those and other key questions.

Will I still get a sticker if I send in a ballot by mail?

It depends on where you live, but many communities will happily send you a sticker with your ballot in the mail.

Communities will still do this even though stickers are surprisingly a bit of an expense for taxpayers.

The stickers cost roughly 15 cents each, according to MIC, so if millions of people vote and want a sticker, that can add up quickly.

In 2012, Santa Clara County in California saved more than $90,000 by not having stickers included in mail-in ballots, according to an NBC Bay Area report.

How long have the stickers been around?

There’s no sole creator of the stickers, but it appears they started being made by several sources in the early-to-mid 80s, according to Time.

Why are the stickers so popular?

The stickers are not only a good way to remind others that there’s an election going on or encourage them to vote, but they bring a sense of community that comes with voting, according to what political scientists told Time.

Do stickers actually impact voter turnout?

They actually can, according to the political scientists interviewed by Time.

The article said that research has shown that when voters are thanked for voting in a past election, they’re more likely to vote in the future.

Research has also shown that people may be more likely to act if they are noticed by someone else, according to the article.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.