In this file photo from 2016, Secretary of State Tom Schedler unveiled "I VOTED" stickers featuring George Rodrigue's iconic Blue Dog to be given to Louisiana voters at early voting sites or at their polling locations on Election Day. 

The Louisiana Secretary of State's Office printed about 4 million "I Voted" stickers for those who cast their ballot in the 2016 presidential election. For the upcoming Oct. 12 election, the office ordered 3 million, citing lower voter turnout for gubernatorial elections.

Let's prove them wrong and make them run out of stickers. We can reverse the poor voter turnout numbers.

"I Voted" stickers were provided for the first time in the history of the Secretary of State's Office for the 2016 presidential election as a special election turnout initiative. The stickers — featuring the late George Rodrigue's Blue Dog — were well received with many posting photos on social media outlets of themselves wearing the sticker and others selling their's online.

This year the sticker will feature artist Tony Bernard, who worked as an assistant to Rodrigue for more than 25 years.

Bernard's creation features a pelican and the words "Love Louisiana" under the banner "I Voted."

The stickers will be available for both the Oct. 12 gubernatorial primary election and the Nov. 16 gubernatorial general election as well as during early voting. Early voting for the Oct. 12 election will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 5 excluding Sunday, Sept. 29. Early voting for the Nov. 16 runoff will be Nov. 2-9 excluding Sunday, Nov. 3.

Wednesday, Sept. 11, is the last day to register in person or by mail for the Oct. 12 election.

Voter apathy is a big issue around the country — and Louisiana is no exception.

While electing a president is important, so, too, is electing local and state officials. Decisions made by local governments — from tax rates to road projects to recreation programs — impact our lives daily.

Statewide the ballot will include elections for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, agriculture commissioner, insurance commissioner and four proposed constitutional amendments.

In Southwest Louisiana, the ballot will include legislative races, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, sheriffs, police jurors and assessors. There is also a coroner's race in Cameron Parish and a clerk of court election in Allen Parish.

Special council races are slated in Westlake, DeRidder and Leesville with a special justice of the peace election in Calcasieu Parish.

As a community, let's do better in the Oct. 12 election. Who is elected matters.

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