This story originally appeared on LX.com
This year, NBCLX has asked artists from across the U.S. to create their own “I Voted” sticker for 2020. The latest artist to take us up on our challenge is Alan Ket, a muralist from Miami.
Ket used spray paint to create a mural that repeats the “I Voted” message over and over, both in English and in Spanish. We asked Ket why voting – and art – are so important to him. This is what he told us in his own words. His thoughts have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
You can find Alan Ket on Instagram at @alankets. And to find a digital version of Ket’s spray painted sticker – and our entire collection of artist-created "I Voted" stickers – search “LXtion2020” on Giphy. Share them on your social platforms to tell the world you voted!
Hello, my name is Alan Ket and I'm from Miami, Florida.
You know, everybody is so crazy about politics and voting and not voting and conspiracy theories and Trump and Biden and this thing and that thing. Voting is really, really important. And the reason is for your own representation in the government. And so what does that mean? That means that you have someone that is representing your interests and your beliefs in the government.
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You know, the issues that are really important to me have to do with the climate, have to do with the way the government spends money. It has to do with women's reproductive rights. ... And so I voted and I continue to vote in local elections and in the general national elections because I believe that it is important for all of us to participate in the democracy that we live in.
It's not a democracy if we don't participate.
Many people have come before us and ... fought for the right to vote. And so the least that I can do is participate with this right that we have. So many people around the world do not live in democratic governments. We have a responsibility to participate and be heard.
We want to live in a fair society. We want to have a better tomorrow for not only ourselves but for our children. So I think it's very important to vote now more than ever. If you never voted before, you have to vote. If you never voted before with what's going on, whether it's, you know, climate change or racial injustice or the stratification of wealth or taxes or insurance or the coronavirus or just, you know, a better tomorrow. You have to do it. You have to participate. You've got to stand up.
Art helps to motivate change because it sometimes expresses feelings or sentiments that we don't know how to put into words. … Art touches us. You can tell the minute you see art - your chemistry changes, your mood changes... It impacts you.
When you do any kind of graffiti, quality is important, but quantity is important... And when you see it all together, I think it looks much better than if you only see one. It's a little bit windy, so we get the mist, but spray paint is like that, it's imperfect. Even though you could come in and clean it up and perfect it.
And so this is me saying [“I Voted”] over and over and over and over and over again. And we have to continue to repeat it and tell people and encourage people to vote because your vote counts and you have to participate.
And what have you got to lose by doing it? If you don't vote, you don't participate. If you do vote, you have a chance of seeing maybe if what you believe in gets respected and it counts. You get to complain. You get to observe. You get to call these people out: “I voted for you. Why haven't you done what you've said you're going to do?” You can rise up. You can speak on it. But if you don't, you're just, you're just a duck. You have to vote.