Ulster County Board of Elections
Ulster County Board of Elections recently opened its second annual "I Voted" youth sticker design contest — and a sketch of a brightly colored, six-legged monster is currently in the lead.
The artist of the pink, purple and turquoise design is 14-year-old Hudson Rowan, who at the insistence of his mother, emailed in his submission in July.
"I just thought it would be a good way to be involved with politics and a community at the age that he's at," his mother, Molly Rowan, who wanted to encourage her son to be more civically engaged, told The New York Times.
Neither of them expected the attention that the sticker design received, but Hudson's explanation of the drawing clarifies why it's deeply resonating with Americans.
"Politics right now in the world is all kinds of crazy," he told the outlet, "and I feel like the creature that I drew kind of resembles the craziness of politics and the world right now."
"It's more just for the individual to decide what it is," he continued.
That's exactly what happened for Ashley Dittus, the Democratic commissioner of elections in Ulster County, New York, when the submission landed in her email inbox.
"This design is colorful and crazy and kind of weird," she told the Times. "It's just not what you think of when you think of a traditional 'I voted' sticker, so we all kind of love it."
The Republican election commissioner, John Quigley, responded to the design in an email to the Times: "I found it best when someone tweeted, 'This is how we all feel about politics right now.'"
Though the "chaotic, random lines" of Hudson's drawing aren't "classically" patriotic, voters in the county, and across social media, adore it.
The Ulster County Government shared their hopes for all of the attention Hudson's design has received. In a post on Twitter, they wrote, "We [love] that our countywide youth 'I voted' sticker design contest is garnering so much attention this year! We hope our civic engagement campaign will inspire even more youth-oriented initiatives in elections offices across the country!"
One person took to Twitter to discuss the effect this campaign, and Hudson's unique design, may have on voter turnout in the county.
"We all laugh, but this sticker alone might unironically increase voter turnout in Ulster County. This is a gem of a collectible," read the post.
If you want to keep following Hudson and his sticker design, which is almost a shoo-in for the contest with 93% of votes and rising, he started an Instagram page dedicated to it.
In his bio, he wrote, "I made the Colorful Head spider leg creature thing, Thank you all for all the support!! It means so much to me!"