Early voting is now open in Travis County, and restaurants are ready to encourage people to go out and perform their civic duties in the form of free or discounted food for voters.
With 97 percent of eligible voters registered and 32,000 people voting on the first day of early voting, restaurants offering freebies may have their work cut out for them.
It’s important to note that, technically, offering free food and drinks to voters is illegal. However, restaurants can legally get around that by opening up the offers to everyone, even those without “I Voted” stickers.
Here are the Austin restaurants offering free food or discounts to voters (and, legally, non-voters). Several are part of an initiative called #pollperks from public relations company Giant Noise. Texas’s early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 13 through Friday, October 30, and election day is on Tuesday, November 3.
Amy’s Ice Creams: All locations of the local ice cream parlor are offering a free crush-in topping for those with a voting sticker. (Multiple locations)
Austin East Ciders: The Barton Springs location of the homegrown cider company is offering a free pint of cider for those with a voting sticker from October 13 through 16. (1530 Barton Springs Road, Zilker)
Austin Winery: The local winemakers are offering 20 percent off bottles to-go with voting stickers through early voting. (440 E St, Elmo Road, St. Elmo)
Bao’d Up: All locations are offering a fortune cookie that says “Vote” with a voting sticker, starting October 20. (Multiple locations)
Circle Brewing Company: The North Austin brewery will give those who show their voting sticker their first pint for $1. (2340 West Braker Lane, North Burnet)
El Chilito: The Tex-Mex spot is giving out free queso with purchase for both in-person and online orders at all three locations through October 30. (1623 East Seventh Street, East Austin; 2219 Manor Road, Cherrywood; 4501 Menchaca Road, Manchaca)
Counter Culture: The east side vegan spot is giving away free tea to those who post a picture with their voting sticker and the restaurant’s sign. (2337 East Cesar Chavez Street, Holly)
Dough Boys: The trendy, garlic-loving East Austin pizza truck is offering a 20 percent discount off orders with proof of voting through October 30. (1108 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)
East Austin Hotel: All three of the hotel’s restaurants offer a 10 percent discount on checks when presented with a voting sticker. (1108 East 6th Street, East Sixth)
Home Slice Pizza: Both locations of the New York-style pizzeria will offer a free slice of pizza in exchange for an “I Voted” sticker to add to the respective restaurant’s wall (they will provide another sticker in return). The promotion runs through Election Day. (501 East 53rd Street, North Loop; 1415 South Congress Avenue, South Congress)
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