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NEWS FLASH: Starbucks free coffeee for voters may be a crime

November 3, 2008

Oregon Biz Report,
Starbucks has been running TV ads and web videos giving free coffee to anyone who says they voted on election day.  Krispy Creme offered free doughnuts and Ben and Jerry’s free ice cream.  But it may be illegal in many places. The Secretary of State in Georgia issued a letter stating clearly that offering any form of gifts for one’s vote is a felony.  Lawyers in Oregon say the same rule applies.   Just as candidates cannot give away campaign t-shirts, coffee mugs and pens, so too businesses cannot give away objects of value in exchange for voting.

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Alpha Dog November 4, 2008

Notice how they offer coffee after you voted. They should be giving it before people vote so they are awake. That would be a better Starbucks plan.

Trevor November 4, 2008

No, you are wrong. If Starbucks gives voters coffee before they vote then they are voting under the influence.

Alpha Dog November 4, 2008

Good point.

Ben November 4, 2008

Starbucks should have known this before they did this. Do they not have enough lawyers? Was this a spur of the moment thing? It just seems like a blow-back to them that makes them look awkward. Sometimes looking awkward is worse than looking wrong.

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