LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - "I Voted" stickers are returning to every Louisiana polling place for the fall elections, created by a local Cajun artist and featuring a pelican wearing a crown centered in a rendition of the state seal.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin unveiled the new sticker featuring Louisiana's state bird at an event Tuesday with the Lafayette artist who created it, Tony Benard.
The stickers will be available for the Oct. 12 primary and Nov. 16 runoff elections, and during early voting, as voters choose Louisiana's governor, six other statewide leaders, 144 state lawmakers and an array of local officials.
"We're thrilled with this year's sticker, and even more excited to see pictures of voters across social media platforms on Election Day," Ardoin said in a statement after he revealed the sticker on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
More than 3 million stickers are being printed to distribute among polling places, at a cost of $18,500, said Tyler Brey, spokesman for the secretary of state.
Registrars of voters in some parishes have offered "I Voted" stickers for years. The secretary of state's office first introduced a statewide sticker during the 2016 presidential election, featuring Louisiana's famous "Blue Dog" by artist George Rodrigue.
That statewide sticker was supposed to be a one-election event.
But the absence of stickers in Louisiana's 2018 election provoked complaints when voters showed up to polling sites and found in some instances they weren't leaving with an "I Voted" sticker to post in selfies to social media accounts.
In addition to the voting sticker, Bernard has been commissioned to produce artwork for local and regional festivals, including the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras festivities, according to the secretary of state's office.