The “I Voted” sticker is getting a makeover in upstate New York – and a spider-like psychedelic critter is squirming its way to victory.
The Ulster County Board of Elections launched a student contest for the second consecutive year for 13- to 18-year-olds to submit art to be featured on the ubiquitous voting day stickers.
As of early Friday, a multicolored arachnid creature with a humanoid head is leading the pack of six possible designs, garnering 90% of more than 86,000 votes.
The 78,000-plus online votes in support of the eclectic sketch is far more than Ulster County saw during its June primaries, figures show.
It was created by Hudson Rowan, 14, of Marbletown, who told the newspaper he wanted to do “something different” with his submission.
“It’s a head with legs and colors,” Hudson told the newspaper, adding he wanted to convey a “psychedelic” and upbeat theme. He’s been blown away by public’s response, he said.
“I did not think I was going to get as much attention as I did,” the teen said. “I thought since mine was very different from the others, I didn’t think mine was going to get a lot of attention because of that, but I was wrong. It was exactly the opposite.”
The other offerings — submitted by teens in Rochester, Gardiner and New Paltz – are indeed much tamer. The proposed redesigns feature an eagle alongside the “I Voted” phrase, as well as another showcasing the US Capitol.
The latter design, submitted by Wendy Stewart, 14, of Marbletown, was in second-place as of early Friday, but far behind Hudson’s offering with just 6% of the vote.
Voting will continue through July – with the winning design to be distributed to those who head to the polls in Ulster County on Nov. 8.
Hudson Rowan told the Albany Times Union he was trying to turn some heads with his unusual creation. It has only six legs rather than a spider’s typical eight appendages.
“It’s not a set thing,” Hudson said. “It’s more of a creative creature concept thing. “I don’t know how to describe it. I was just experimenting with different designs and styles. I decided to add some color to try to catch the eye.”
Fourteen submissions in all were received, Democratic Commissioner for the Ulster County Board of Elections Ashley Dittus said.
“Hudson’s was the first,” Dittus told the Times Union. “I immediately showed it to everyone in the office. It’s a fan favorite. We all love it.”