This Election Day, the national chains are not being as generous with voters' freebies as they were in 2008, and those that are seem to be offering them on an unofficial, individual basis. Perhaps because there remains some controversy over whether offering free items to people who voted is considered "buying a vote" and in violation of federal law, but the smaller number of voter freebies may just be a result of it being a midterm election year.
That said, there are still some freebies to be found. A few national chains are handing out free food and drinks to those who have voted, but the best bet is to check out local stores and restaurants. Since most outlets require an "I voted" sticker before they'll hand you a freebie, make sure to get one (or some other proof that you voted) at the polls.
Starbucks: Free tall coffee at any Starbucks. (There are reports that some locations are not honoring this freebie.)
Chick-fil-A: Most of the of 1,400 Chick-fil-A restaurants are handing out chicken sandwiches.
Books-A-Million: Free cup of coffee.
California Tortilla: Free taco at all locations.
McCormick & Schmick's: Is extending its Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to close with $1.95 bar food.
Krispy Kreme stores in a handful of locations in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas are offering a free star-shaped doughnut with "patriotic sprinkles."
Local stores are picking up some of the slack left by national chains. Find local deals by searching Twitter for messages containing the word "free" and the tag "#Election". Clicking this link does that for you. Add your city into the search to narrow the offers down.
More than 20 San Francisco bars are offering 50¢ drinks just for voting as part of the "Straight Up: Vote" campaign.
MJR Digital Cinemas (Michigan movie theater chain): Free popcorn (all sizes) with purchase of a movie ticket.
Central Virginia locations $5 meal deal.
Know of more Election Day freebies? Share them with your fellow frugal Americans in the comments!
This story was updated at 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday, November 3 to clarify that the Krispy Kreme offer is only in certain locations. Also, the Ben & Jerry's offer was not valid. We have removed it from the post.
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