According to a groundbreaking new study of the U.S. voting age population, voter turnout would be nearly universal in every election if “I Voted” stickers were sparkly.
“Our results indicate conclusively that the path to increasing voter turnout lies in improving the quality of the stickers provided to voters,” said lead researcher Harlan Bucknell-Dupree. “In a series of field interviews, focus groups, and nationally representative surveys, two things became clear: people primarily vote in order to get stickers, and the average person would be significantly more likely to vote if they got a cooler sticker.”
While the standard circular “I Voted” stickers have historically only induced around 55 percent of eligible voters to vote in presidential elections, the study found that more eye-catching stickers — such as shiny vinyl stickers or big die cut stickers — have much stronger turnout effects.
“In our simulations, voter turnout went through the roof when we added even just a subtle layer of sparkles to the typical ‘I Voted’ sticker,” Bucknell-Dupree emphasized, adding that fancy stickers also far outperformed plastic buttons as rewards for voting. “With high-quality custom stickers starting at just $57 for a batch of 50 two-inch vinyls at stickermule.com, we believe that states all across the country can afford this proven mechanism for boosting voter turnout.”
Bucknell-Dupree noted that his team was still researching potential safeguards to prevent people from trying to get another sparkly sticker by voting twice.