On June 28, 2022, I wrote about receiving two “I Voted” stickers despite being one man casting one vote in the New York Republican Gubernatorial primary.

(My candidate did win in the primary so I will take this opportunity to reassure supporters of the other candidates that notwithstanding my two “I Voted” stickers, I really did only vote once.)

I received another “I Voted” sticker when I voted in the general election that November. I sat out the June 27, 2023 primaries in New York not because of laziness or protest, but because there was in fact no primary for me to vote in. Fortunately, I was still ahead one “I Voted” sticker from the previous year’s primary.

On November 7, 2023, I voted in our local general elections. My vote did not matter because all of my local races were wholly uncompetitive, but it is the thought that counts. I received a free New York City elections pen with my ballot.

A New York City elections stylus pen. The stylus has a hole which allows the pen to come through.This was given out at the 2023 New York City general election.
A fancy stylus-pen (it is not too fancy and the stylus is only good for pointing on glass screens).

I think I have three of these pens now. I explained the New York election pen situation in a photo caption in my article about receiving two “I Voted” stickers:

New York gave the pens to voters to take in elections in 202 and 2021. In today’s [June 28, 2022] election, we were not given pens, so the pens were supposed to stay at the voting station.

Nicholas A. Ferrell

In June 2022 we were not given pens. In November 2023 they were giving away the pens. How are these decisions made? I know not.

But I digress.

I filled in the paper ballot with my take-home election pen and then put the ballot in the scanner (I put the pen in my front shirt pocket). I left the poll site. It occurred to me a few minutes after I left that I had not been given an “I Voted” sticker. This is strange. They always hand those things out like candy. Were my efforts to turn out and vote in noncompetitive elections to go unrecognized?

After walking around and running some errands, I returned home. I emptied my pockets of my wallet, phone, and a note. I then pulled something unexpected out of one of my pockets:

An "I Voted!" sticker received for my vote in the 2023 New York City general election. The sticker is still stuck to its paper backing.
Where did this come from!?

An “I Voted” sticker!

I do not remember having been given an “I Voted” sticker, much less putting it in my pocket. When did this happen? One may suspect that someone had given me an “I Voted” sticker while I was going through the voting process and I absent-mindedly put the sticker in my pocket. That is certainly one theory. However, having no recollection of this happening, I prefer to think that the sticker magically appeared in my pocket as a result of my doing my civic duty.

Regardless of how the sticker ended up in my pocket, I maintained my surplus of one extra “I Voted” sticker.