So you're on the fence about voting... It's a tough to decide whether you should participate and utilize your rights as an American citizen. Well leave it to America's favorite corporations (and local favorites) to pitch in and convince you it's totally worth it. You get free stuff!
Check out a little list of the free swag you can gather up with your little "I Voted" sticker.
Free ice cream at Ben & Jerry's from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Free 12oz cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Get into First Avenue's "Hot Election Night" for free. Show features SovietPanda and Moongoons.
Check out a couple more at MetroMix.
We thought these voting gimmicks seemed a little weird, and so did Gawker.
We made a phone call to the Minnesota Secretary of State, but they said the law in question is a federal one. Here it is (our emphasis):
42 USC 1973i (c) which states:
(c) False information in registering or voting; penalties
Whoever knowingly or willfully gives false information as to his name, address or period of residence in the voting district for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, or conspires with another individual for the purpose of encouraging his false registration to vote or illegal voting, or pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both: Provided, however, That this provision shall be applicable only to general, special, or primary elections held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The Department of Justice wouldn't comment, saying they "cannot speculate or provide advisory legal opinions".
The law is pretty vague, so watch your back. No one wants to be arrested for a free cup of coffee, right? We think this law is more to stop people from "buying" someone's vote for a particular candidate, but it's not specific. Ben and Jerry's changed their event to give ice cream to everyone to avoid any legal problems. Probably a good idea. In other words, even if you don't vote, you can probably get free stuff if you argue for it.