Kelly Tyko | USA TODAY
First-time voters are going to the polls by the millions in 2020
The 2020 election is motivating first-time voters of all ages and walks of life to cast their ballots.
Free food and discounts are up for grabs this Election Day regardless of whether you have an “I Voted” sticker.
Krispy Kreme is giving away glazed doughnuts to all along with a special voting sticker while supplies last Tuesday. Planet Fitness is offering a way to work off the stress of the election with a free workout and massage Tuesday through Nov. 8.
With more mail-in ballots and early voting this year, fewer people will have the “I Voted” stickers as proof to show they voted. According to federal law, it technically is illegal to offer freebies in exchange for votes and businesses typically skirt this by offering the deals to all.
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Election Day also is National Sandwich Day and several restaurants are offering discounts and specials on subs Tuesday.
Free and discounted rides to the polls
A popular Election Day discount is a ride to the polls. Aside from ride-sharing apps offering deals, several cities and communities are providing free rides on Election Day including Los Angeles and Indianapolis, Indiana. Check with your local transit system to see if they have an offer.
Hertz: When you book a rental car for two or more days Monday or Tuesday, get a free day “to perform your civic duty,” the car rental company said. This offer is valid at participating neighborhood locations and a 24-hour advance reservation is required. Learn more at www.hertz.com.
Lyft: Get 50% off one ride up to $10 Tuesday to any polling location or dropbox using the code 2020VOTE. Lyft also is including its network of bikes and scooters in select cities in this offer.
Uber: Get 50% off roundtrip rides to the polls, up to $7 each way or up to $14 for the two trips. Uber says the discounts will be “automatically applied when you request your ride by using the polling finder,” which is an in-app feature. Terms and conditions apply and this offer is not available in California and Michigan.
Election Day freebies and deals
Here are the deals available Tuesday at participating locations unless otherwise noted. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location before heading out.
Biggby Coffee: The chain will have a buy-one-get-one free or $1 off any drink up to 24-ounces at participating locations.
Bobo’s: The brand is offering 2,000 coupons for free oat bars Tuesday to those who voted. Register to get a coupon mailed by filling out a form at www.eatbobos.com/vote. It’s optional to share a photo of your “I Voted” sticker, the website says.
Boston Market: From 9 p.m. to close at all locations nationwide Tuesday, get one free slider. No purchase is necessary. The new sliders – including Chicken Cheddar, Turkey Cheddar, Chicken Chipotle and BBQ Meatloaf – are part of Boston Market’s new Late Night menu.
CAVA and Zoës Kitchen: Poll workers get a free meal Tuesday with proof of badge in-person.
Chopt Creative Salad Co.: Badged poll workers can get a free meal Tuesday.
DoorDash: The on-demand delivery app will have free delivery on all orders with a $15 minimum placed on Election Day with promo code VOTE. For DashPass subscribers that already have zero delivery fees on orders over $12, DoorDash is providing 10% off orders with code DPVOTE. The codes should be entered at checkout.
Enlightened: The brand is giving a coupon for free ice cream to anyone who mentions the word “vote” and tags @eatenlightened on Instagram stories for Election Day Tuesday. This offer is while supplies last and one person will be randomly selected to win a year of free Enlightened desserts.
Grubhub: The on-demand app will have more than 30 discounts in the Perks tab in the Grubhub or Seamless apps including for 7-Eleven, Burger King and California Pizza Kitchen.
Krispy Kreme: All guests get a free Original Glazed Doughnut and an “I Voted” sticker Tuesday, while supplies last.
McDonald’s: Starting Tuesday and through Nov. 9, McDonald’s is giving away its new pastry items with the purchase of a hot or iced coffee through its app. The offer in the app can be used once per day. The new McCafé Bakery lineup includes an apple fritter, blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll.
Natural Grocers: This is a post-Election deal. From Thursday through Nov. 7, members of the grocer’s loyalty program can get one free chocolate bar, while supplies last. Available brands include Alter Eco, Natural Grocers Brand, Chocolove, Endangered Species and Theo Chocolate. Sign up for the loyalty program by texting organic to 41411 or visiting www.naturalgrocers.com/join.
Pieology: From Sunday through Tuesday, Pieology has its Election Day 2020 bundle deal with two 11-inch “Create Your Own” pizzas and a shareable dessert for $20.20.
Anxiety peaking as Americans head to the polls
Anxiety grips the US as the 2020 campaign closes. Its the first presidential election that has been held in the throes of a deadly pandemic, sparking a record shift to early voting and raising worries it might take days or weeks for the results. (Oct. 30)
Pizza to the Polls: The nonprofit group Pizza to the Polls is delivering pizzas across the country and sending food trucks with snacks to lines in 25 cities. Uber Eats has partnered with the groups and says the food trucks will be giving out free Shake Shack, Milk Bar and more. Send reports of long lines at https://polls.pizza.
Planet Fitness: Starting Tuesday through Nov. 8, Planet Fitness is offering everyone who votes a free workout and HydroMassage. Find your local gym at www.planetfitness.com/gyms. The company also is hosting a special workout 7 p.m. ET Tuesday on Facebook with “exercises and tips to de-stress after voting – a much-needed activity to help ease everyone into a post-election routine.”
Red Lobster: Get free delivery Tuesday on Grubhub orders over $25.
Shake Shack: Poll workers get a free sandwich including the Shackburger and the Chick’n Shack from Sunday through Election Day with proof of badge. The offer is only valid for “in-shack” ordering.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill: Go to www.unos.com/pizzavote to get a buy-one-get-one free pizza coupon code emailed. The offer is valid for dine-in or takeout at participating locations through Election Day.
Vitality Bowls: Get 20% off all açaí bowls with “proof of voting” at participating locations Tuesday.
Wawa: Starting Tuesday, Wawa kicks off “Free Coffee Tuesdays,” which will be held every Tuesday in November and December for Wawa Rewards members. New members need to register by 8 p.m. Tuesday to get this deal. The free drink is for self-serve hot beverages up to 24 ounces.
White Castle: Get $4 off orders of $20 or more – or $5 off orders of $30 or more in New Jersey and New York – through Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates on Tuesday. Also, White Castle is closing all of its locations from 7 to 11 a.m. to allow employees time to vote.
More deals: Local restaurants and smaller chains will also offer Election Day freebies and specials. Check social media accounts for deal announcements.
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National Sandwich Day deals, freebies
The following deals are available Tuesday unless otherwise noted at participating locations. Some require an app and most are while supplies last. Offers can vary by franchise.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop: The chain is offering CAPAddicts reward app users a small Bobbie Sandwich for $5 Tuesday.
Erbert & Gerbert’s: Get triple points Tuesday with the chain’s app. To get this offer, you’ll need to download the app and order from your rewards account. New loyalty members receive half off a sandwich when they join.
Firehouse Subs: Loyalty members get double points Tuesday when they order a medium or large Hook & Ladder sub.
Jersey Mike’s Subs: Get $2 off any regular sub Monday through Nov. 6 with app orders and code SANDDAY2OFF.
Jimmy John’s: Freaky Fast Rewards members get 50% off any 8-inch sandwich Tuesday. The chain also has an ongoing deal through Nov. 8. Buy one 8-inch or 16-inch sandwich and get 50% off the lowest priced sandwich with code SAVEON2.
McAlister’s Deli: Loyalty members will get a buy-one-get-one free sandwich reward in their app under My Rewards to use Tuesday through Nov. 17.
More deals: Local restaurants and smaller chains will also offer Sandwich Day specials. Check social media accounts for deal announcements.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko