Polls, Perks and Prosecution?
Whether you’ve been getting your political information from a news network, “Saturday Night Live” skits or right here on the ADVANCE Web site, we hope you exercise your right to vote today. And if the deluge of media coverage about the presidential election wasn’t enough to send you to the poll booth, a few companies are offering some additional incentives to get off the couch and vote. Krispy Kreme, for one, is handing out free fried confections--star-shaped, glazed and bedazzled in red and blue sprinkles, no less.
As a fan of freebies, I plan to hit up my local Ben and Jerry’s for a complimentary scoop after casting my vote. Then, since it’s not exactly ice cream weather (although who needs fair skies to indulge in a cup of Half-Baked frozen yogurt?), I’ll warm up with some fresh brewed coffee from Starbucks, where they’re footing the bill.
Imagine my astonishment, then, when I came across this article in the Christian Science Monitor. As it turns out, it is a felony to give or receive gifts for voting in an election.
This promptly put a damper on my post-poll booth plans. I’ve blogged about privacy breaches and cover ups--in fact, I was just reading up about the continuing saga at UCLA, where a grand total of 1,041 patient records were “improperly accessed” by employees, when I spotted the story on freebie felonies. Would I join the ranks of those law breakers for accepting a comp cup of Joe?
As surprising as it may be, accepting a drink, doughnut or dairy product for voting is technically a violation of law. Thankfully, quick-witted execs removed the “I voted” stipulation from their giveaways, so now I can pick up my complimentary treat of choice for simply walking through the franchise door--no voting required. But rest assured: I’ll be taking my guilt-free mind (and cuff-free wrists) to the polls on my own accord.