Today is the day to exercise your civic duty but you shouldn't expect free stuff in return.

We've all seen the 'I Voted' stickers on our social feeds, and we've taken the pic (did you really vote if you didn't selfie?). It feels good to vote and do our part in American democracy. Some businesses encourage it to the point of offering voters a freebie if they show their 'I Voted' sticker or proof that they did visit their local polling location.

But that's a no-no.

It's technically illegal for a business to offer voters an incentive to enjoy before or after voting. It's still not stopping businesses from doing it, with everything from free donuts to discounted rideshares to polling locations.


Specifically, it's illegal in a federal election,  which is of course what today's is as we're picking the U.S. Senators and Representatives to send to Washington. Violating the law could garner up to $10,000 in fines or a prison stay of up to 5 years, or both.

But I doubt you'll get in trouble for getting your free donut or election freebie. It seems like the powers that be in federal law enforcement have bigger fish to fry than coming after you or a business for your free food since this has been happening for years.

Even if you don't get free stuff, it's still your duty to use your voice in our midterm election. You should definitely make sure you get out and vote today if you haven't already!

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