New York county achieves high voter turnout by giving people a nasty little spider sticker

The twisted purplish face of democracy in action.
The twisted purplish face of democracy in action.

Back in July, Ulster County, New York hosted a competition to determine what its “I Voted” sticker would look like for this year’s General Election. In an expression of democracy that warms our hearts, a design by 14-year-old Hudson Rowan won the contest with a landslide 93% for his entry: A scream-laughing purple head with multicolored hair and teeth, bulging red eyes, and six cyan spider legs.

Kaleigh Rogers let the internet know that the confetti-haired spider monster has now scuttled its way onto stickers and tweeted both an excellent image of an official holding a roll of adhesive spider heads as well as a link to its source in a Daily Freeman article about how the design has helped drive a “strong turnout.”

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An elections inspector said that early voting over the weekend was well above “his expectations of a few hundred people each day” and credited the fact that “many were excited about getting the stickers featuring [the] spider.”

A key master at one site who’s helped facilitate elections for 19 years said she’s “never seen this many people for a midterm” and that Rowan’s dark creation has “definitely gotten more people out for the first day” and into Sunday. The article mentions that “amongst voters, there was much excitement about the stickers and early voting” and quotes one voter who said the item is “highly coveted.”

The design is such a hit that it not only got voters excited, but has also been immortalized by New Paltz Village, Ulster County’s Deputy Mayor Alexandria Wojcik as a tattoo.

The contest clearly worked, demonstrating that the secret method for increasing voter turnout doesn’t lie in, say, ensuring that quality candidates who represent their base’s interests are up for election. Instead, it’s something much simpler: we just need to get more spiders involved in politics.

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