You survived the long lines and confusing ballot to vote in the 2012 Presidential election, but you didn't get that patriotic souvenir prize at the end of the long process. That's because, according to some news sources, there's an "I Voted" sticker shortage.
According to The Atlantic, the "I Voted" sticker "isn't worth squat on the market" but provides a "priceless" value for Americans to encourage others to go out and vote ever since they were first handed out in 1986 in Florida.
Derek Thompson for The Atlantic wrote:
"The 'I Voted' sticker is a signal and an advertisement. It binds people together in solidarity and reminds others to join the group. Tens of millions of people will vote in every presidential election whether there are free stickers or free cookies. But beyond these intrinsically interested (and, possibly, more informed) voters are countless more citizens who need motivation to show up at the ballot box."
With a pivotal election on our hands, stickers are one of many motivating factors. But Business Insider reported that not all polling centers have been giving away the freebie "I Voted" sticker. Not because they don't want you to score an Election Day freebie -- which many businesses are giving for wearing a sticker -- but simply because they have run out.
For example, in Houston, reporters have alleged a "sticker gate" crisis due to the lack of stickers being passed out at the polls. Other states, like New York, do not even give away "I Voted" stickers, despite many pleas for them in the past, Business Insider pointed out. Since states are responsible for designing the stickers given after voting, they can also opt out of the process entirely, like New York which has never given away stickers, Gothamist reported back in 2008.
That's why many people have taken to Twitter to express their concerns about not getting a sticker.
However, some have taken to printing their own "I Voted" stickers, upon the advice given by Slate Tuesday. To see the lucky voters who received "I Voted" stickers in their states, check out the gallery of sticker varieties at DCist.com.