Arlington officials unveil decal competition

The design for the Arlington election-sticker competition should fit a in 2-inch round hold, as shown above.

The Arlington Electoral Board is teaming up with the Arlington Artists Alliance and the county library system on its first-ever “I Voted” decal competition.

Modeled on a similar effort in New York City, the contest encourages Arlington residents to submit designs for the decal that will be distributed to voters on Election Day and used in a variety of outreach campaigns.

Much like the vehicle-decal contest sponsored for years by the Arlington treasurer’s office, the voting-decal competition will be a three-step process:

• Submissions will be accepted through April 12. (Multiple entries per person are permitted.)

• A selection committee will winnow the field and announce finalists on April 26.

• Public voting will then run through May 10, and, like the submissions, will be open to Arlington residents only. The winner is expected to be announced at the May 21 County Board meeting.

Entrants must include the phrases “I Voted” and “Arlington” in their designs, which should be in the form of 2-inch circular entries.

“Clarity is really important,” Electoral Board chairman Charlene Bickford said.

Partnering with the Arlington Artists Alliance will be a benefit for the initiative, said Gretchen Reinemeyer, the county’s deputy registrar.

“We can run elections; we aren’t necessarily art experts,” she said of the elections office.

Those with Arlington library cards can use the design software at Lynda.com without charge to aid with their efforts, and can access the Design Suite at Central Library, but use of those services is not required for submission.

County election officials last year decided to start up the competition, but opted to wait until the low-turnout election season of 2019 in hopes that the contest would spur interest in turnout. The design likely will stay in place until the next off-off-year election in 2023.

Complete rules are available on the Website at https://vote.arlingtonva.us.

For years, the treasurer’s office held a student-artwork competition for the design of the annual personal-property-tax decal for vehicles. That ended this year when the County Board abolished the decal (though not the decal fee).

The treasurer’s competition usually drew several thousand online votes.

Unlike the vehicle-decal competition, which was open only to Arlington high-school students, the “I Voted” competition will be open to all county residents.

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