Want a Blue Dog sticker? Have to vote in Louisiana election

By MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press

Louisiana voters who cast ballots this fall will get an “I VOTED” sticker that could soon become a collector’s item — it features George Rodrigue’s iconic Blue Dog.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler unveiled the new sticker this week, saying he hopes it will help draw higher participation in the Nov. 8 election.

The sticker features the famous wide-eyed Blue Dog sitting in front of a U.S. flag, an image created by Rodrigue in 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks and entitled “Stand Up Straight and Tall.”

Schedler said the small blue dog with the white snout — well-known around the world — was the perfect symbol to place on the stickers, saying both the image and the artist are “synonymous with Louisiana.”

“This in my opinion is something that everyone is going to want. I would say it could maybe even be a collector’s item one day, so I wouldn’t throw it away,” he told the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Voters will get the sticker at any polling location around Louisiana on Election Day and all of the state’s early voting sites. More than 4 million have been printed, so Schedler said there’s no risk of running out.

Rodrigue, a New Iberia native who died of cancer in 2013, would have loved the project and been proud to participate in something so patriotic, said his wife Wendy Rodrigue, who attended the announcement.

“I know that if George were here today, he would say, ‘Don’t be complacent, Louisiana. Do your duty as Americans and go vote,’” Wendy Rodrigue said.

In addition to the presidential race, Louisiana’s ballot includes competitions for an open U.S. Senate seat, all six U.S. House seats and a long list of local elected positions.

The last day to register to vote for the election was Tuesday.

Early voting begins in Louisiana on Oct. 25 and runs through Nov. 1.

Schedler declined to offer a prediction yet of voter turnout. He said while the state’s highest participation tends to come in presidential election years, “this election has been so strange” that he’s unsure how to forecast it.