Krispy Kreme loves giving away free doughnuts. They'll give you a free doughnut on your birthday, on halloween, on national doughnut day, on national coffee day, and if you talk like a pirate. Hell, if they're baking a fresh batch, they'll give you one just because it's Tuesday. So when Krispy Kreme announced that the company would be giving away free doughnuts to anyone who wears an "I Voted" sticker next week, it shouldn't have come as that big of a surprise, right? Well, think again.
As Uproxx points out, Krispy Kreme's Election Day giveaway may be in violation of voter fraud laws.
The rules outline by US Code 597 actually seem pretty clear:
Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and
Whoever solicits, accepts, or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Of course, there are always consequences associated with eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Shaquille O'Neal became severely addicted those creamy, glaze-covered pasties over the years. Still, the prospect of being imprisoned for snagging a sweet ‘nut after casting your ballot seems a bit extreme.
It’s possible that Krispy Kreme’s promise to dole out free doughnuts to citizens with “I Voted” stickers—rather than actually posting up outside of polling booths—could present something of a legal loophole. And hey, at least President Obama approved Taco Bells "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" campaign earlier this week.
Either way, just be careful snacking on those glazed treats after performing your civic duty on November 8. Big Brother is watching.