This Election Day won’t be the same freebie day as it's been during past elections.
Although several ride-sharing services are offering free or discounted rides to polling locations Tuesday, few restaurants with more than 20 locations are rewarding voters' civic duty.
Usually, businesses roll out deals with presidential elections for voters who sport "I Voted" stickers even though it is technically illegal to offer freebies in exchange for votes, according to federal law.
“It is illegal in elections when federal candidates are on the ballot to offer free stuff (including free food or drink) to people upon proof of voting,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at UC Irvine told Nation's Restaurant News.
A Chicago museum offering free admission Tuesday originally was requiring voters to show the voting sticker. The Field Museum changed its offer to free admission to anyone in Illinois.
“The intention is golden. But under the law, you can’t offer anything of value in connection with registering to vote or voting,” Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Free and discounted rides
Ride-sharing apps are making it more affordable to get out and vote.
Uber and Lyft both say they will offer free or discounted rides to polling places Tuesday.
According to a Lyft blog post, it was estimated that over 15 million people were registered but didn’t vote in 2016 because of transportation issues.
Uber is partnering with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to make sure that transportation isn't a barrier to getting to the polls, the company said.
Here's how to save:
Lime: Available in more than 100 cities across the nation, enter code LIME2VOTE18 to unlock the Lime fleet of shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters for a free ride to and from polling locations, up to 30 minutes.
Lyft: The service is providing 50 percent off or up to $5 off rides across the country and free rides to underserved communities "that face significant obstacles to transportation." To get a discount, enter your zip code on Lyft's partner, Buzzfeed's website.
Uber: The service is offering $10 off a single ride to the polls on Election Day on the most affordable Uber option available in your city (Express POOL, POOL or UberX, in that order). The most recent version of the Uber app is needed, and all you do is enter promotional code VOTE2018 in your app.
Free Motivate bike rides: Bike share operator Motivate is offering free rentals in nine urban bike share systems across the country on Election Day. This includes Citi Bike in New York City and Jersey City, Divvy in Chicago, Bluebikes in Boston, Capital Bikeshare in Washington D.C., Nice Ride Minnesota in Minneapolis, Ford GoBike in the Bay Area of San Francisco, BIKETOWN in Portland and CoGo in Columbus, Ohio. The code for a free day pass for most Motivate programs is BIKETOVOTE. For Divvy, use the code VOTE18 and in Portland, which has a vote-by-mail system, BIKETOWN riders can use code BIKE2VOTE to get 30 minutes of free ride time Tuesday.
Other Election Day deals and freebies
Here are the deals available Tuesday at participating locations. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out.
Bobo’s: Get a coupon for a free vegan, gluten-free oat bar by sharing that you voted on social media. To get a coupon mailed to you, tag @eatbobos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use #GetOatTheVote. While supplies last.
California Tortilla: Say “I voted” Tuesday and get a free order of chips and queso with any purchase.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop: For showing a voting sticker, get $1 off any sub Tuesday.
Chameleon Cold-Brew: Get a voucher for a free 10-ounce Chameleon Cold-Brew when posting a selfie with your “I Voted” sticker on Instagram. To get the freebie, tag @ChameleonColdBrew and use #FuelTheVote.
Corner Bakery Cafe: Receive a free brewed or cold brewed coffee with any purchase and “I Voted” sticker Tuesday.
Fatz Southern Kitchen: Get a free Fatz Famous Sweet Tea with purchase of an entrée with an “I Voted” sticker Tuesday.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop: An "I Voted" sticker was originally part of Potbelly's free cookie promotion. Now, according to a tweet, to get a free cookie with any purchase Tuesday and Wednesday at participating locations, "just ask" for the cookie.
Twin Peaks: Bring a voting sticker to get a free order of chips and queso Tuesday with the purchase of a beverage at participating locations. In-store only.
Contributing: Dalvin Brown, Eli Blumenthal