You Know, My Grandparents Used to Vote for Whoever Would Give Them a Ride to the Polls and a Turkey


reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward is all over the voter-freebie beat in the empire's nation's capital, but the state of (U.S.) Georgia has expressly banned such patriotical giveaways:

State officials have ruled that giving free items to folks who voted—no matter the altruism involved—is illegal. Several businesses, like Starbucks, Ben and Jerry's, Krispy Kreme and even Zoo Atlanta had offered freebies or half-priced items to those sporting their "I voted" stickers.

But many now were backing off the original offer by expanding their election-day largesse to all.

"Businesses are free to offer election day sales to all its customers; but special offers just for voters is prohibited," said Matt Carrothers, spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

More here.

Here's a strange-but-true-tale of American democracy back in the good old days (i.e., the [first] Great Depression): My mother once told me that my Italian grandparents, who probably weren't registered to vote in the first place, used to vote for whoever would show up first on election day with food and transportation.

As we ponder a day that will almost certainly end in an Obama victory (helped along by an unprecedented $600 million in private funds and a rejection of the public financing that would have lowered the total amount of loot), take a few minutes to listen to former Federal Election Commission head Brad Smith talk about the turkey that is campaign-finance reform: