Los Angeles – Starbucks poured up tall cups of coffee for voters without a charge. Ben & Jerry’s offered up scoops gratis. And at Krispy Kreme Donuts, anyone who brought in their ballot stub was welcomed into the unofficial “I Voted Today” club with, yes, a free doughnut. Some, but not all, of the stores got patriotic, handing out star-shaped, red-white-and-blue sprinkled doughnuts.
It didn’t take long for word to get out about the freebies as a steady flow of doughnut lovers filed into the Crenshaw Boulevard store all day. Linda Cryer of Compton showed up after hearing about the offer while watching the news. “It was a nice treat after having everything go so well at the polls,” she said.
There were those who tried to get past the velvet rope without proper proof of voting: A young college student who admitted she was not a United States citizen was forced to pay for her treats. But Krispy Kreme employee Erma Douckery stood her ground. “It’s only one o’clock and we’ve already given away over a thousand donuts,” she said. “We want to reward the people that vote.”
Small children were the exception. Many snagged the sugary delights thanks to groundwork their parents had laid for the sake of a doughnut—and for their futures.