I had not drank even one sip of coffee or put an ounce of make-up on when I excitedly showed up to Precinct 9 this morning, so happy to exercise my right to vote.
After voting I fed my ballot through the machine, smiled and paused for a second, waiting for the volunteer to say “thank you for voting” and hand me an “I Voted” sticker. I quickly scanned the small folding table next to the machine and did not see any stickers, so I asked the volunteer, “Ummm, do I get a sticker?”
I’m positive my inquisitive face was a little dramatic because, well, I’m an adult and who really cares about a sticker?
“We don’t have any stickers.” She said directly.
“Whaaaaattttt? Whyyyyyyyy?” I said in the most whiny voice, that was exacerbated by the early hour and no coffee.
The kind volunteer explained that “they” are being sued and therefore cannot give stickers to voters because it is discriminatory. (I don’t exactly know who “they” are, perhaps she meant the church where my voting precinct is or maybe she meant Kendall County.) Either way, I was shocked and totally confused about how a sticker can be discriminatory. I’ve been thinking about it all day- is the “I Voted” sticker somehow subliminally discriminatory?
The worst part is, I didn’t even know I wanted a sticker so badly until a sticker was no longer an option. Did I even really vote if I don’t have the validation of the sticker? How would I Instagram the obligatory picture of me with my “I Voted” sticker? I know, I know, this can be filed under things that are not actually real problems, but uh, I want my sticker!
Thank goodness for my teaching partner, who was able to shed some light on the importance of the “I Voted” sticker.