Understatement alert: It’s been a bit of a stressful election season, no? The kind of election season where any little boost to a voter’s morale—or the city’s morale—might feel like a welcome gesture?
Well, Philly is in luck in that sense, at least: Businesses around the city are stepping up with fun little perks and swag and deals that might make being a citizen today and this season feel a little brighter, from discounts to DJs to free truffle fries.
Truth is, providing voters with “incentives” for voting in a federal election isn’t legal—but, says University of Pennsylvania lecturer Neil Makhika, a local business offering “something of nominal value is not likely to raise serious concerns. The law is really intended to prevent people from buying votes for a particular candidate.”
Here, a snapshot of some of the more intriguing Election Day deals and morale boosters that you can get with your “I Voted” sticker at Philly-area businesses.
Gift cards and deep discounts at indie boutiques
Kin Boutique in Washington Square West is giving out $25 boutique gift certificates to anyone with an “I Voted” sticker and a $50 gift certificate for anyone who provides proof of working the polls. Both gift certificates are redeemable in the store any time between now and November 6. Meantime, Ali’s Wagon in Fairmount is offering 20 percent off when a customer shows an “I Voted” sticker or shares a voting-at-the-mailbox selfie.
A drink on the house (or close to it).
From now through Election Day, Callowhill’s Love City Brewing will serve up a free draft beer to anyone with an “I Voted” sticker. If you’re more of a wine drinker, then you can head to Panorama in Old City, which is offering a complimentary sommelier-selected glass of red or white for “I Voted stickers,” too. Meantime, at Good Dog in Rittenhouse, the Election Day specials are worth the trip: half-priced drafts, $3 mixed drinks, $5 wines and $6 snacks. Finally, at Olde Bar in Old City, you can get an Election Day special $5 price tag on the Olde Glory Sour all day. (Just say “Happy Election Day” and ask for the Election Day special.)
From now through the election, Bryn Mawr’s Enoteca Tredici is offering a special deal—$6 for pizzas that are usually $17-plus—for “I Voted” stickers. And speaking of pizza: In addition to offering $10 and $15 pizza-and-drink specials on election night, Slice Fishtown and Slice Italian Market will also be stationed at six different polling places, handing out free slices between 5 and 7pm. (The exact polling places are TBD, based on community input through social media approaching November 3.)
At Red Own Tavern Independence Mall, it’s free truffle fries to customers with voting stickers. At Old City’s Amada, you can cast your vote on its Insta page for either Patas Bravas or Croquettes as the best dish, then stop in on Election Day for a free dish of your favorite. (Just say “Happy Election Day!” and ask for Election Day specials.) At another Jose Garces spot across town—Village Whiskey—it’s snack-deals galore from buck-a-shuck oysters to $3 deviled egg plates, to $4 tater tots, $4 fried pickles and more. (Plus $4 select beers, $5 house wines and $7 select cocktails.)
A Mexican-American feast
The entire Pistolas trio—that’s Pistolas Del Sur on East Passyunk, Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown, and Washington Square West’s Jose Pistola’s—is offering an “Election Day Stimulus Package” with 8 freedom tacos, left and right wings, guacamole and salsa, chips and a growler of beer … all for $50 (to represent every state in the union). Available starting Election Day until we know who the next President is! (And that deal is available for eat-in, pick-up or delivery by Caviar … although Caviar delivery doesn’t include beer. Beer is pick-up only. At Callowhill’s Buena Onda, the all-day specials include $3 tacos, $3 chips and salsa, and $3 sangria and draft beers. (And bonus: Every Tuesday is half-price margarita day.)
Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod and his wife, Erica, run the nonprofit called Change Our Future that focuses on everything from youth development to health and wellness to community empowerment—and on Election Day, they’re renting a double-decker bus and hitting the streets of Philly, passing by polling stations scattered around the city. Joining them will be DJ Diamond Kuts, Fox 29’s Alex Holley, and a rotating handful of other Eagles. The goal? To keep everyone’s spirits up with music, t-shirts, trivia, food delivery from Black-owned businesses, and good old-fashioned Eagles sightings. Keep your eyes peeled!