The Exchange

Election Day Freebies and Specials

The Exchange

Tuesday will bring some relief for Americans exhausted from the long slog of  campaign season. And as a reward for enduring the election -- and for voting -- they may get a few freebies. A handful of restaurants, retail stores and companies across the country are ramping up their Election Day gimmicks and promotions—offering free food, a trip out of the country and flu vaccinations.

Some of these promotions have been going on for a few weeks now, leading up to Election Day, but others are only available on Nov. 6.

JetBlue (JBLU) is offering an Election Promotion campaign: If the candidate you voted for loses, you'll be in a drawing for a chance to win a trip abroad. The airline will offer 1,006 travel certificates to redeem on a round-trip base fare to any of JetBlue's Caribbean or Mexico destinations.

7-Eleven is offering its customers a way to show how they'll vote with special red (for Mitt Romney) and blue (for President Obama) coffee cups through midnight on Nov. 6.

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Photo: Zipcar

Car-sharing company Zipcar (ZIP) is offering a 50% discount on rates nationwide with a program called Zip to the Polls.  The discount is  available on Election Day only, from 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time). Zipcar also partnered with Rock the Vote to make voter registration available on its Facebook page.

And here's one for multitaskers: Vote and Vax, which works with local public health providers, provides flu vaccines to voters at polling locations around the country. Parents can also bring their children. But take note that this one isn't exactly a freebie. You'll have to pay the going rate for a vaccine in your area's pharmacies and clinics. Douglas Shenson, director of Vote & Vax, said the program first launched during the 2008 election with only a few hundred sites, and can now be found in 1,500 locations across all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. "It's a public health opportunity," Shenson said. "We think we're reaching people who would otherwise not get a flu shot."

Some businesses are offering their employees paid time off to vote. You can find those listed at 2 Hours 4 Your Country.

Read on to see where you can snag some great deals for being a good citizen.

National promotions

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Photo: Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's: The ice cream shop is currently offering a special Americone Dream sundae, which includes Americone Dream ice cream (Ben & Jerry's flavor made for Stephen Colbert), caramel, whipped cream and a selection of dry toppings. This promotion is being extended to customers through the end of the year.

Boston Market Bowl Poll: People can cast their favorite Market Bowl (chicken or turkey) through Nov. 6. On Nov. 7, the winner of the poll will be announced. That day, Boston Market will offer everyone a free Market Bowl with a purchase of a bowl and a drink. A coupon is required, which will be available on the company website and its Facebook page.

Lululemon: Election Day got you stressed? The high-end yoga-apparel company (LULU) is offering free yoga classes on Election Day throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Check out Lululemon's blog to find locations.

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Photo: Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery: Its cupcake Patriot Pack is available on Election Day at all bakery locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The pack costs $24 and contains a dozen mini vanilla cupcakes, topped with red, white and blue sprinkles.

M&M's: M&M's are offering a personalization discount on their orders for election parties until Nov. 5. You can receive $10 off orders of $65 or more with the code CHOOSE10 and 15% off orders of $100 or more with code CHOOSE15.

Pinkberry: The frozen-yogurt seller is holding a social media contest on Election Day asking fans to post pictures and vote for their favorite flavor by using the hashtag #pinkthevote on Twitter. The company will choose 10 winners randomly on Nov. 6 and they'll each win a free small yogurt with toppings.

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Photo: Purina

Purina: The pet-food distributor is hosting "America's Pet Debate" to answer the age-old question: Who's better -- cats or dogs? Pet lovers can cast their vote on Purina's website or Facebook page until Nov. 8. For every vote cast, Purina will donate $1, up to $100,000, to Pet Partners' Veteran Programs, which helps fund pet therapy for U.S. veterans who need assistance. The winner will be announced on Nov. 9.

Shake Shack: The burger chain is teaming up with Rock the Vote for "Shack the Vote"—participants can stop by a Shake Shack location and fill out a Pledge to Vote card. They'll then receive a coupon to receive a free cup or cone of Shake Shack custard on their next visit.

Starbucks: The coffee shops will offer all customers an INDIVISIBLE wristband on Election Day.

Tim Hortons Café & Bake shop: The store will give you a free donut with the purchase of any beverage. Some voters will also get free coffee and donuts while they wait in line at local polls in some cities, including Detroit, Columbus, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y.

Uber: On Election Day, this car-service company will be offering customers a free ride to or from a national polling place, up to $20.12. Any amount above $20.12 will be charged, and the offer is only available during the city's voting hours.

Local promotions
HART
in Tampla, Fla.: Tampa's public transit system, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), will be offering free rides on Election Day. (This excludes HARTPlus and Streetcar services.)

Hotel Monaco in Portland, Ore.: Any guests checking in on Election Day can choose their preferred candidate upon check-in until 8 p.m. Each guest who chooses correctly gets $45 off their bill when checking out.

Legal Sea Foods in Boston: At its 30 restaurants along the East Coast, until Election Day Legal Sea Foods is offering a Blue Plate and Red Plate special for $25.95, paying tribute to the candidates' home and adopted states. The Blue Plate features macadamia-coconut crusted mahi-mahi with roasted brussels sprouts, and the Red Plate special features pan-seared cod with steamed spaghetti squash in bourbon lobster cream sauce.

Lofty Pursuits in Tallahassee, Fla.: This ice cream shop will give a free scoop of ice cream if you show an "I Voted" sticker.

Tailgate Grill in Canton, Ohio: The restaurant is offering specials for each candidate: Barack O Boneless Wings or Right Wing Basket; both are $4.70 for 10 wings. The bar will also offer a $4.70-martini: Romney-tini with cherry vodka, cranberry juice and grenadine; Obama-tini with whipped vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice and Blue Curacao.

Online promotions:
1stFrame.com: Until Nov. 10, the custom-picture-frame seller is offering 12% off orders with coupon code VOTE2012. The promotion is targeted to campaign season photos (you can view the frames specific to the political season here), but in case you don't have an election picture you want to hang in your living room, the discount is available for any purchase.

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Big Hot Dog: This hot-dog seller has a special discount on its hot-dog-making kit (hot dog, buns and condiments) for $129.95 instead of its regular $169.95 price only on Election Day. For those not familiar with the brand, this is no ordinary throw-on-the-barbeque hot dog: These 16 inches long, weigh seven pounds and contain 40 servings per dog, according to the company. The 2013 Guinness World Records named Big Hot Dog as the largest commercially available hot dog.

Castle Ink: Castle Ink, a site for buying recyclable ink cartridges and laser toners, is offering 20% off its products.

The Merci: This online gift boutique has an "I Voted" special on Election Day. Customers will receive 11% off all U.S.-made products and $6 flat-rate shipping.

Now go fulfill your civic duty and cash in on some deals. Which promotions sound good to you? Share your thoughts with us below.

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