Regina voters disappointed by absence of stickers

Kennedy Buchanan, a Regina-Lewvan voter, says she was disappointed to learn that “I Voted” stickers were not being distributed at Sask polls on Oct. 21, 2019. Photo by Libby Giesbrecht.

A number of voters in Regina were disappointed to not receive an “I Voted” sticker after casting their ballots in Monday’s federal election.

Kennedy Buchanan said she became excited about receiving a sticker after watching an episode of This Is Us on television where “I Voted” stickers were prominently featured.

“I think it kind of pushes people to vote a little bit more,” said Buchanan, who voted at one of two Regina-Lewvan polling stations visited Monday.

Natasha Gauthier, senior advisor of media relations for Elections Canada, said the organization does not distribute “I Voted” stickers, though some municipalities do. Vancouver is one city in Canada which does provide stickers for its voters.

“It is recognition of their civic duty,” said Maureen Johnson, who voted Monday.

Johnson said she believes stickers could be a good way to convince others to head to the polls on election day.

“Some people might forget [to vote] and it might help jog their memory,” Johnson said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever missed an election,” says Ron Kujat on Oct. 21, 2019. While he does not consider “I Voted” stickers to be a major concern, he says he would wear one as a proud Canadian. Photo by Libby Giesbrecht.

As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, “I Voted” stickers were offered by Elections Canada earlier this year as part of a pilot project during a federal byelection. They were not offered to voters during the 2015 election.

Ron Kujat doesn’t think stickers are of “major” importance but would wear one if they were made available.

“I’m a proud Canadian,” Kujat said with a smile. “I don’t think I’ve ever missed an election, be it locally, provincially, or federally.”

Brandon Bossenberry also sees the democratic importance of wearing an “I Voted” sticker on election day.

“I think they’re important … when you’re outside of a workplace or you’re somewhere more casual they’re nice to have, just to show you voted,” said Bossenberry.

Carson Van Duyvendyk, like Bossenberry, was disappointed to not receive a sticker during his visit to the polls Monday.

“Having something physical is nice,” Van Duyvendyk said.

Van Duyvendyk also said that he would probably use Instagram’s new online “I Voted” stickers.

On Friday, Instagram added a series of online “I Voted” stickers to their Stories feature, allowing Canadians to share their civic participation online. An Instagram “We Voted” feature compiled stories by each user’s followers containing the online stickers.

In Vancouver’s 2018 civic election, a bright pink “I Voted” sticker gained popularity online when voters posted photos of their stickers to Twitter. Some individuals admitted to voting “for the sticker” in their online posts.

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