Poor Starbucks: Free Coffee Deemed Illegal

When I read yesterday about Starbuck’s offering a free cup of coffee to anyone who would go into one of their shops and say they had voted, I thought: “What a neat and generous idea.” Appears though, such a thing is illegal. Poor Starbucks.

Prior to Monday afternoon, Starbucks was promoting an ad that said anyone who says enters a Starbucks on Election Day and says that they voted would get a free cup of tall coffee. RAW VIDEO: Starbucks’ Election Day Ad

Election officials for the state of Washington told KIRO 7 that rewarding voters with free coffee is illegal.”No good deed goes unpunished,” said Nick Handy, director of elections. Handy said there is a federal statute that prohibits any reward for voting.

So, Starbucks decided, We’ll give a cup of coffee to anyone who comes in on election day and asks for one.

Go! everyone. Vote, dash into the nearest Starbucks and claim a free tall cup.

Not going to vote, you say? Well, Starbucks has decided to give you a cup anyway, but do you deserve it?

What possible reason is there for not voting? I’d like to hear from you if you will not be voting today. We’ll be nice, and promise not to chew you up and spit you out!

EDIT: Seems there are other food outlets involved in the election day give-away.

MILWAUKEE -Americans will pick a new leader for the country on Tuesday, and will be able to pick up some free coffee, ice cream and other goodies too.
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.
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.
“We hope there is a record turnout on Tuesday and look forward to celebrating with our customers over a great cup of coffee,” she said in a statement.
David Ammons, spokesman for the state elections division of Washington state, had said earlier that a promotion tied to whether people voted could be construed as rewarding someone for voting and could violate federal and state law. He said the state’s attorney general’s office contacted Starbucks about the issue on Monday.
Source AOL News

10 thoughts on “Poor Starbucks: Free Coffee Deemed Illegal

  1. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you on this most important election day. I don;t think there has been a more important election in recent world history.

    I’m going to go to an Australian Starbucks and Crispy Creme and see if I can get a coffee and a free donut because i posted on a US blog!



    Greg, thank you for your prayers and concern.

    You deserve a coffee and a doughnut…tell them I sent you. (Notice that I utilized spelling that would honour you.)

    You, dear Greg, however, should understand that we are Yankees, and that we spell Krispy Kreme in this way. 🙂


  2. Rob in Gallup

    If John McCain somehow, by the grace of God, defeats Barack Obama, I’ll have all the reward for voting I could have possibly hoped for.

    A sincere Amen.


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  4. Shirley, in my area Krispy Kreme is giving away patriotic donuts and Chick-Fil-A a discount to voters. I imagine someone will let them know that their giveaways are illegal, too.

    Eve, if you time everything just right, you won’t have to cook dinner today!


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  6. J. R.

    I just wanted to say that I realized this morning that the polling place is the one place in all this frenzy of media, opinions, etc. that is free of all such nonsense. You cannot wear “political” agenda apparel, buttons, etc. You can’t talk in line about candidates, issues, or anything. Just chatting with others, not knowing their political stance or spiritual views is refreshing. 🙂

    No matter what happens, it will be a relief to have it all over. No matter who is our new president, I will pray for him and for peace for our country.


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  8. We have bottled water with our church logo and actually was going to the polling places to distribute today until we learned it was illegal. We can give away lots of stuff away in America but not in support of elections…sad!

    Hi, Tracie. I think the regulations about what can be done right at the polling places are to prevent undue pressure to vote any particular way.

    You might check and see how close you can be legally and give the water away at that point.


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