After taking a chunk of their day to deal with crazy crowds at the polls, the least some Americans have come to expect in return is one of those coveted 'I Voted' stickers.
Not only do they give them an easy way to brag to the 40 percent of adults who didn't vote, but they're basically a skeleton key to big business freebies all day.
The only problem is not all polling centers have been handing them out. We tried to find out why, but since it's basically impossible to get a Board of Elections representative on the phone on Election Day, we had to make a few educated guesses:
In states like New York, the reason is simple. The Board of Elections has never given out stickers. After the 2008 election, The Gothamist tried to rally supporters to petition the board to offer them in 2012, but from the looks of these angry 'Where's my sticker?' posts on Twitter, their pleas weren't answered.
In other states, polling centers seem to simply have run out. Voters in Houston have already dubbed a sticker shortage in Harris County "Stickergate". Houston Chronicle copy editor Emilia Benton chalked it up to "budget cuts," which could be certainly be true (and very rational) for other states that passed on stickers this year.
On the other hand, Virginia and Georgia voters have been posting photos of stickers all over the place, so it's clear some states are still pulling through.
If you're really determined to get your Election Day freebies, take a page out of The Slate's book and print your own. Just don't try to Instagram photos of yourself from the booth. We hear that's illegal.
It's fair to remember that people who mail in absentee ballots won't get any stickers either. All things considered, New York Times' reporter Catherine Rampell has opted for a positive outlook:
Today I voted in person (as opposed to absentee) for the first time. No sticker, but still feeling pretty good.
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) November 6, 2012
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