Free Election Buzz

By Beacon Staff

Update: Starbucks may be in violation of federal law if they follow through with giving voters free coffee today. No word yet if they’re going to outlaw the cookies at polling places or “I Voted” stickers, too.

Starbucks is offering a free cup of coffee on Tuesday to customers who say they voted. They’re not the only business capitalizing on the election and giving away freebies: From Krispy Kreme to 7-Eleven, retailers, restaurateurs and other businesses – even a sex toy shop – across the nation are rewarding Americans who go to the polls.

Krispy Kreme will be handing out star-shaped doughnuts with red, white, and blue sprinkles, one each, to voters, while Ben & Jerry’s is serving up free scoops of ice cream to people on Election Day between 5 and 8 p.m., whether they voted or not. 7-Eleven has been running its own poll for a month, where customers can buy coffee in an Obama or McCain cup. If they are undecided, they can buy it in a regular cup. National and state results are posted daily on this Web site created for the hot beverage poll. With polling inconsistencies these days, who knows, maybe they’re on to something?

And in Chicago, several local restaurants are offering their own Election Day dinner specials.

Alas, all but Starbucks, are chains that we can’t take advantage of here. Has anybody heard of others or of local restaurant specials?