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Park Slope Kids to Blame For 'I Voted' Sticker Shortage at Polls

By  Allegra Hobbs and Leslie Albrecht | November 8, 2016 4:28pm | Updated on November 9, 2016 2:42pm

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An "I Voted" sticker handed out Tuesday at a New York City polling site.
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Many New Yorkers hoping to receive their very own "I Voted" stickers left empty-handed Tuesday as polling sites ran out of the labels early in the day. 

In Park Slope, one of the neighborhood's famed attributes could have been partly to blame.

One local voter told DNAinfo New York poll workers had bestowed his "adorable" 2-year-old with no fewer than four of the civic-minded labels at P.S. 133 on 4th Avenue and Baltic Street.

Stephen A. Christopher, a poll site coordinator at the Park Slope Armory, said his site started the day with six rolls of stickers, but quickly ran out.

Poll workers gave them out freely to voters and their progeny, and Christopher said he even asked some kids if they had siblings at home who might want them. By mid-morning, another poll worker was hoarding her few remaining stickers to give out to kids.

When the stickers were first introduced several years ago, "we practically had to tackle people and put them on their body," Christopher said. "Now they ask for them and seem genuinely disappointed when we run out."

Others noted on Twitter that the neighborhood seemed full sticker-laden children on Tuesday.

The Armory YMCA had run out of "I Voted" stickers by about 10 a.m., a poll worker said. The lack of labels was a blow for proudly progressive Park Slopers, who were primed and ready to wear the stickers as a badge of honor on the street and in their Facebook feeds.

An East Village polling place also burned through their supply of the coveted stickers with hours to go before polls closed. 

The Village View Housing Corporation on E. Fourth Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, ran out of stickers around 10 a.m., according to site coordinator Denise Lawless — and voters are disappointed not to be able to show off how they exercised their civic duty.

"I don't get a sticker that says I voted?" asked 83-year-old Jeanette Farley as she exited the polling station at around 2 p.m. "Well, how do you like that? And so early in the day."

Another disappointed voter said it was more than just a sticker — it was an important reminder for citizens to make their voices heard during an especially contentious election.

"I think when people see other people wearing stickers, it kind reminds them to vote. So I think it's really important," said Merle Ratner, a labor rights organizer at the International Commission for Labor Rights.

In the East Village, Lawless said she was unsure how many stickers the station received at the beginning of the day, but that at least 3,000 voters had come through the site since it opened at 6 a.m. 

Volunteers did find a stash of 10 excess stickers at around 3 p.m. and were able to briefly award a handful of voters, but that didn't last long, said poll worker Molly Butcher.

Voters took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the sticker drought — some reporting they had been turned away without a sticker during the morning hours and some after long waits.

Not all sticker-less voters were disgruntled at the news, however — some said it made no difference to them whether they got a sticker advertising they had voted.

"It's less trash," said Johnny Rozsa, shrugging, as he exited the Village View site. "It doesn't bother me."