Election Night Drink Specials

I’m launching my latest project, Election Night Drink Specials. The goal is to provide a listing of all the bars in the country that will offer drink specials on November 2nd with people who have “I Voted” stickers.
I’m hoping to get more young people (especially college students) to vote because their bars are encouraging them to. So I’m encouraging bars to encourage people to vote by giving them free advertising.
There’s only one hitch – I haven’t been able to actually get any bars to sign up. The first bar to sign up is Ashley’s right here in Ann Arbor!
I talked to a couple drinking establishments and set out some feelers, but haven’t heard back. I need some help, especially if you happen to know someone who runs a bar. So if you have any tips, add them.
And thanks to David at Flippedlid for some design help, and Andy for some database talk through.

10 responses to “Election Night Drink Specials”

  1. Why? How does the country benefit if people who are so out of touch with politics that they only vote if they’ll get free alcohol out of it vote? Aren’t we better off if the only people who vote are the people who soberly analyze the issues, follow tha candidates, and make informed choices?

  2. Good question. The people who are looking on the Internet to determine where to drink have the tools to educate themselves and I would hope that they would.
    But there’s also been some talk about how the opinions of crowds are better educated than any one expert. See Is voter ignorance killing democracy? and Mass Intelligence for some arguments to this end. The comments in this MetaFilter thread offer some rebuttals to the theory, but I think it’s pretty good.
    Still, I will do what I can to make it easy for people visiting the site to become better informed. I think it’s too early for the voter guides to be out, but when they are online I’ll link to them.

  3. I think it’s useful to see it as a longer term strategy rather than as a bribe of some sort, by bringing back the fun and community event of voting, rather than looking at it strictly as a duty and as homework.

  4. Here i go commenting without links to back me up.
    Kim: I don’t think we would be better off if the only people that voted were those that soberly analyzed the issues. In fact, the country would be wasting way too much productivity if everyone duplicated this effort.
    From the research and education i have pursued in political science, it is evident that the actual issues have very little to do with who most people vote for anyway. Primarily, people vote with their party identification. A little lower down the list is candidate personality. Actual issue stance is third when compared to these two factors (barring some irrational pro-eyeclawing issue platform).
    I think it is unpractical to ask everyone to research and analyze the issues. Most people decide who to vote on based on some sort of trust system, and i think this a good method. A citizen might fully trust a party. Or perhaps she will vote with a Union. Many people trust their unions… which is why AFL-CIO backing is so valued.
    Heck, this trust system can be said to include all elected positions in our democratic Republic. We are supposed to elect people we can trust to make decisions for us, Unlike a completely pure democracy where a citizen would vote on each issue or law in question.
    Take the most common complaint against Al Gore, for example. It wasn’t that he focused too much on environment or backs this or that policy or issue. More commonly, the reason people give for not liking him was that he was something of a Dalek–unemotional and overly calculated. They didn’t relate. Conversely, many people voted for bush because he reminded them of an actual person, a fellow American, a personality they want to trust.
    But perhaps only those educated on the issues should vote. Voting could be a privilege earned by completing a highschool education.
    Oh! And to make sure a voter has a vested interest in the outcome, perhaps she should be a landowner as well…
    I know it is far from what you were suggesting… but I couldn’t resist! You asked how the country might benefit from election night drink specials, and my response is something along the lines of “The more information (votes) that we can collect about the trust structure in our nation, the better it will represent us.” This system doesn’t require everyone to go out and spend their time weighing the issues.
    Actually, i think having everyone evaluate the issues might be inherently unfair to people strugling with more pressing problems than an election.
    So, I’m all for inciting drunken barflies to get out the vote. And I think the drink-special demographic may well agree with my political views–we trust some of the same people.
    And if a person has the time available, i do condone learning about the issues and the system. Most of america doesn’t really have the time to bother, though. Next best thing might be talking to a friend that does (or reading her website 😉 ).

  5. Hey Kim, I read some of your website entries and i concluded that if we ever made it to the same bar, and successfully identify each other, i would probably enjoy a conversation over a drink. Bonus points for an election night drink special 😉

  6. “Wouldn’t we be better off if people made informed decisions?” That’s a hard question to answer, and is based largely on how you define “informed decision”. With, say, 90% of information out there being bullshit, one could reasonably believe their decision is informed, when actually it is based on spin, propoganda, and outright lies.

    Right now we have more than half the population not voting, many of whom don’t vote because they believe their vote doesn’t count. In fact, I have a friend who is better informed than most, more involved in things, who doesn’t vote because he doesn’t think it matters.

    Worse, the establishment likes it that way, so they don’t want to do anything to try to motivate more people to vote. They’re quite happy to help sustain or increase apathy, because they like things the way they are.

    Of course, just because someone is going to the polls without the dangling carrot of a drink afterwards, doesn’t mean that they’re any better informed than the average alcahol-loving college student. For example, the people who vote a straight all republican or democratic ticket, I find it hard to believe that they’re very well informed.

    So, yeah, I’m all for trying to increase voter turnout. Cheap drinks? Sounds great to me. Having election day be a national holiday? I’m taking steps to make that happen in my company.

    If even half of the people who don’t vote, voted to change the system, they could.


  7. I’ll talk to owner of the Elbow Room again tonight. He’s about the most open-minded Republican I’ve ever met. (His wife objected to “God Damned” on the ER website, but he likes bands like Jucifer and laughs at the lefty vids on the screen).
    Drink specials are actually semi-regulated by the state.

  8. I wasn’t going to vote this time, but I suppose I could make the time for $2 beers. Thank you for the inspiration… Beer is a greater motivator than even Michael Moore.

  9. you should team up with DrinkDeal.com to get Drink Specials on election night. They obviously have a relationship with a good amount of bars in NYC. Exchange links with them or something, because people on their site, are looking for drink specials, today, and probably election night too. Love the idea, keep it up.

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