That free doughnut you got with your ‘I voted' sticker was illegal

Your favorite restaurant may have technically broke the law today.

From Krispy Kreme to Chuck E. Cheese, BurgerFi, Firehouse Subs and others you can score delicious freebies by proudly displaying your "I Voted" sticker on Election Day.

But those stickers really shouldn't be able to get you anything for free. Those deals are breaking federal election law -- regardless if the intent is to encourage civic engagement or not.

“The basic line on this is in an election where a federal candidate is on the ballot, you cannot give anyone any reward -- anything of any value -- for turning out to vote,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine told the New York Times. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a civic pride thing or if it’s not about any one candidate.”

So how can these big companies and restaurants continue to offer deals every four years?

Hasen told the newspaper that companies are rarely, if ever, penalized for it.

And although many of you are still going to take advantage (or already have) of these deals -- not all of the sweet Election Day incentives are breaking election law.

Restaurants and other companies, like Shake Shack and Lyft, offer sticker-free freebies.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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