Election day freebies: What's the deal?

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - With Election Day 2016 upon us, many businesses, both local and national-chains, are offering election day freebies and deals -- but be on the lookout for those that aren't necessarily legal.

The Super Saver's team has already put together a list of the best freebies and tech deals this year. However, some deals are too good to be true and according the federal law, could be illegal. Meaning, businesses and customers could face legal consequences. 

Here's the breakdown:

Michigan Legislature states no one is allowed to solicit any kind of donations, gifts, contributions, tickets, or anything related to voting. No one can request or obtain signatures on petitions in a polling room, in a compartment connected to a polling room or within 100 feet from any entrance to a building in which a polling place is located.

This law does not apply to does not apply to any official material that  is required by law to be posted, displayed or distributed in a polling place on election day. According to the law, anyone who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

According to United States Code, anyone who makes or offers any kind of gifts, donations, or contributions to someone who has voted, in hopes someone will withhold their vote or vote for or against any candidate is subject to fines or imprisonment.

This code also applies to anyone who solicits, accepts or receives any of these expenditures.

The catch with all this is a federal law that only applies when there are federal candidates on the ballot.

By re-wording election day promotional deals to include everyone, whether they cast a ballot or not or by not discriminating on the kind of voter sticker customers are wearing means they can run the promotion with little to no risk of prosecution.

Department of Justice isn't likely to devote time or money to investigating major corporations promotional sales unless, for example, companies were targeting offers to specific areas to lure in more of a particular parties to the polls.

With the risk of prosecution low, companies like Krispy Kreme, Chuck E Cheese and Hard Rock Cafe, have  decided that getting out the vote any way they can is worth the risk of potential fines.

With all that being said, make sure to enjoy all the legal election day freebies and deals.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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