Who wouldn't vote for free beer?
June 18, 2004 5:09 AM   Subscribe

Register to vote and you can get free beer! What better way to reach that vast pool of unregistered twenty-one year-olds than offering them something they actually want? Brought to you by the Democrats, of course. But not without some controversy (from health experts, not Republicans), even though they only get two 2-ounce glasses.

Any other examples of inventive voter registration drives out there?
posted by tommasz (22 comments total)
When I was in college (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1996-1971) you got a free beer mug (8 oz) with the 2-digit year on it if you voted in student elections.

This was when the legal drinking age in New York was a more sensible 18.

I had no problem finding beer (sometimes free) to put in that glass on election day.
posted by davebarnes at 5:26 AM on June 18, 2004


wow! you actually find it more interesting to tell about beer drinking, than about how you invented time travel?
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:46 AM on June 18, 2004

Who the hell is going to register to vote for two ounces of Genny Light? Make no mistake, "High Falls Brewing" is the new name of Genesee Brewing. I drank a lot of that in college. My head hurts just thinking about it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:52 AM on June 18, 2004

It's an old Tammany Hall thing, and there are registration drives happening in bars and clubs all over the country--even strip clubs. It's a wonderful idea--anything to get more young people registered and voting. And think of all the other freebies and giveaways given out all the time--credit card cos. are especially active at this.
posted by amberglow at 5:59 AM on June 18, 2004

Someone recommended voter registration at theaters showing the new Farenheit 911 movie, immediately after viewers exit.

Perhaps that would also be good to do at theaters showing The Hunting Of The President?

Anyway, these seem to be good ideas to capture the moments of anger and indignation when people feel motivated to actually do something about the current political situation.
posted by nofundy at 6:21 AM on June 18, 2004

In the UK, we're thinking about 16 year olds getting the vote (sometime this century - it doesnt have a lot of support yet).

Now, admittedly they shouldn't be allowed to drink in bars (legally, anyway - we tend to blur that law a little bit as you get to look 18).

But what's the deal with your voting age? Don't 18 year olds vote?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:25 AM on June 18, 2004

dash: 18 to vote (they lowered it from 21 during Vietnam i think), but usually 21 to drink in most states.
posted by amberglow at 6:34 AM on June 18, 2004

Be careful, get those voters drunk enough and they'll wind up voting for Nader.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 AM on June 18, 2004

Hey, let's go join the Reform Party!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:46 AM on June 18, 2004

usually 21 to drink in most states.

IIRC, when Louisiana finally gave in to Libby Dole's mob tactics (withholding Federal Highway Funds if they didn't raise the drinking age to 21), we became across the board 21.

For anyone not aware, Music For America is kind of a "rock the vote" for the indie/punk scene. I've had a blast working with them.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:02 AM on June 18, 2004

It's 21 in all states I think. This site backs me up; there are likely better ones which would as well.
posted by biffa at 7:04 AM on June 18, 2004


Ufez Jones (cursed by)
posted by biffa at 7:06 AM on June 18, 2004

Beer is healthier than Coca-Cola.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:46 AM on June 18, 2004

Interestingly, the festival that this drive is part of is one of the more popular in the area and tends to attract a lot of people, some of whom I'm sure aren't yet 21. I'm sure they won't be drinking.
posted by tommasz at 8:22 AM on June 18, 2004

I think the salient info to take from this thread is that Gennesse has changed names. I will avoid this micro-brewery sounding name from here on.
posted by yerfatma at 8:44 AM on June 18, 2004

On election day, some bands i know intend to put on a show that's free to anyone with an "I voted" sticker.
posted by drezdn at 9:05 AM on June 18, 2004

High Falls was the name they used for beers like Honey Brown and they've since changed the whole brewery to that name. Older beers, like Genny and Genny Light are still marketed as such, only the fine print on the bottle has changed. They can still make a decent brew, though perhaps not in the premier microbrew class.

I haven't had either of the beers mentioned as being given away but neither is likely to be a Genny (I can't imagine that 21-year-olds would take one of those, even for free).
posted by tommasz at 9:13 AM on June 18, 2004

I'll be registering early and often....
posted by jalexei at 11:03 AM on June 18, 2004

I'm surprised that Bush/Rove and Co. didn't think to do voter registration of people leaving showings of "The Passion of the Christ"... of course, with absentee ballot applications, just in case The Rapture occurs before Election Day.
posted by wendell at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2004

Why get Free Beer, when you can get Free Sex?
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:23 PM on June 18, 2004

Dang, that makes Free Beer look kinda lame, doesn't it?

And it seems so, um, Democratic.
posted by tommasz at 7:10 PM on June 18, 2004

I haven't had either of the beers mentioned as being given away but neither is likely to be a Genny (I can't imagine that 21-year-olds would take one of those, even for free).

As a 21-year-old at the University of Rochester, I accepted a lot of free Genny (usually Genny Ice). And it's actually a decent sub-premium beer. It's the Golden Anniversary that will kill you.

yerfatma and I liked Genny enough to polish off a 30-pack in two days between us. Of course, it was at the end of senior year and we probably would have polished off a can of Coleman fuel.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:52 PM on June 19, 2004

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