As Election Day 2008 is shaping up to be one for the history books, we Americans should all pat ourselves on the back for engaging ourselves in this Presidential race and responding by doing our civic duty of voting – in what appears to be record numbers according to news sources.
As tribute to our self-congratulatory psyche, several national chains are rewarding us for our good bahavior by offering up free food and drink as a gesture of capitalistic patriotism. According to the Associated Press, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Chick-fil-A are handing out freebies to nosh on as we await the election results.
Starbucks Corp. is offering a free cup of brewed coffee to anyone who asks on Tuesday, while Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is giving away star-shaped doughnuts. Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s is offering a free scoop as part of a celebration of the election.
All three establishments had originally planned to give the freebies to those who voted as a reward for their civic duty, but state and federal election laws forbid promotions that imply a reward for voting.
As the AP reports:
Seattle-based Starbucks had originally planned to give away the “tall” brewed coffees to anyone who reported that they voted, saying in an ad: “If you care enough to vote, we care enough to give you a free cup of coffee.” The company broadened its offer to all customers to ensure it was in compliance with election law, spokeswoman Tara Darrow said Monday evening.
Ben and Jerry’s, meanwhile, will be giving a free scoop to each customer at its shops from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The company said in a statement it had planned to give free scoops only to people who voted but learned that certain laws may not allow it.
Krispy Kreme is giving star-shaped doughnuts with red, white and blue sprinkles to anyone who mentions the promotion, said spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez, but they won’t be required to show an “I voted” sitcker as originally promoted on its company site.
Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country on a local voluntary basis will be offering free chicken items as well.
It is doubtful that when you add up the caloric intake of all the freebies that it will total the 538 electoral votes at stake today. But it just may equal the total number of votes being cast today: 130 million.
And that’s about as All-American as you can get! Eat up proudly, America, no matter how you vote.
Just some news to chew on.