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'I Voted' stickers at Dublin city polling booths aim to raise awareness of the ballot box

The stickers will be available at polling stations in the Dublin City Council electoral area.

STICKERS WILL BE available at polling stations across Dublin city next Friday in a bid to remind people to get out and vote in the European and local elections.

Three different “I voted” stickers will be available on the day, as part of an initiative led by volunteers but with the backing of the European Parliament Office in Ireland and Dublin City Returning Officer.

Liz Carolan, one of the volunteers behind the project who last year founded the Transparent Referendum Initiative, teamed up with Dublin Inquirer and commissioned three artists - Maser, Jacek Matysiak and Jacky Sheridan – to design the stickers which are aimed at increasing visibility and engagement on election day. 

Common in the United States, “I voted” stickers are free and help encourage a sense of “active democracy,” according to Carolan. 

“I noticed a lot of my friends were sharing them on social media as a way of showing that they’d voted,” said Carolan. “You get the sense that something’s happening that day, it’s that constant reminder”. 

Following 2015′s Marriage Equality Referendum and last year’s abortion referendum, young Irish people are more politically engaged nowadays, says Carolan. 

Yet turnout for the last European Parliament elections in 2014 was the lowest ever across the EU with just 21% of young people in Ireland between the ages of 18 and 24 turning out to vote. 

In recent times, social media giant Facebook has created “I voted” buttons on its platform encouraging people to highlight their democratic right. Though questions have been raised about the efficacy and motivation behind the practice. 

“I Voted” stickers will be printed over the coming days ahead of Friday’s election and will be available at polling stations within Dublin City Council’s electoral district. 

“We know from past studies that a large number of people intend to vote, but then on the day they don’t get round to it, for whatever reason,” James Temple-Smithson, Head of the European Parliament Office in Ireland has said.

“We’re very pleased to support this initiative because we hope that these stickers will help prompt people by reminding them it is polling day.” 

Voting in next Friday’s elections begins at 7am. 

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