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The Charleston County Board of Voter Registration and Elections is introducing Charleston’s first  “I voted” sticker design contest. Charleston County students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade can design stickers for the coming municipal elections. 

Sticker design contests in other states encourage voting and celebrate the American tradition, sometimes with outlandish results. Now, it is Charleston’s turn. 

Many sticker contests across the nation received national attention last year. In Ulster County, New York, a 14-year-old’s psychedelic spider-robot man went viral. Sticker designs in Manatee County, Florida, displayed top hat-wearing manatees. 

Matt Dillane is the marketing and communications coordinator at the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration. He said involving the youth in the electoral process was the most important part of the competition. 

“It could be dialed into the Lowcountry with palm trees, or maybe it is like that spider-robot thing,” Dillane said. “We really just want to encourage creativity and participation, and we’re welcoming all different designs.” 

Entries are accepted now through Aug. 15 by mail, Google Form, email or in-person at the office  (4367 Headquarters Road). Submissions are placed in three grade groups: kindergarten through fifth grade; sixth through eighth grade; and ninth through 12th grade. 

The board’s executive leadership team will select the top five designs from each group and those finalists’ designs will be uploaded to the board’s Facebook page. The public can vote from Aug. 22 through Sept. 15 for their favorite design by liking the post. 

The top design from each group will be produced and distributed at Charleston County early voting locations from Oct. 23 to Oct. 27 and Oct. 30 to Nov. 7. Voting locations will be announced on the Charleston County Board of Voter Registration and Elections website.

South Carolina has historically struggled with voter turnout, according to the Palmetto Project.

In the most recent presidential election, the Palmetto State voted below the national average with 50.9% of its citizens participating against the national average of 52.2%, according to the Census Bureau.

Dillane said a good way to increase voter participation was to involve youth.

“We want this to be something they want to be excited about,” he said. “Hopefully that carries through as they grow older.”

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