Voters can celebrate the democratic process after casting their ballots by taking advantage of specials Santa Monica businesses are offering to customers wearing an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day.
Restaurants, bars, and shops are looking to honor voters with everything from a free shot to a free yoga class, and many want to make it a tradition in elections to come. Cabeza de Vaca Cultural Dance School is giving voters free admission to its 4:30 p.m. yoga class and its 5:30 p.m. Beginning Folklorico class, said owner Gina DeBaca.
“Who you elect and what laws you vote on impact me personally and our business, which serves the community,” DeBaca said. “Voters deserve a treat!”
Bars are providing voters weary from waiting in line at the polls with a way to relax, serving $6 cocktails all day long at The Independence, $9 house wine, $10 snacks, and $12 cheese boards after 3 p.m. at Esters Wine Shop & Bar, 10 percent off bar and lounge bills at Michael’s, a free shot at The Craftsman Bar & Kitchen, and happy hour specials throughout the day in the bar and lounge at Red O.
Holly O’Leary of The Craftsman said the bar is rewarding people who exercise their civic duty and trying to incentivize those who wouldn’t normally vote.
“Bars and taverns have historically always been the epicenter of news, revolution, social change, and fellowship,” O’Leary said. “Why not offer something that really allows voters to take a load off … a shot always helps!”
Bars aren’t the only option to recover from the strain of filling in ballot bubbles: Organic to Green is giving customers 20 percent off their spa products and services.
If voters prefer something sweet, they can pick up a free churro at Azulé Taqueria or a lemonade at Lemonade. It’s also a good time to purchase clothing or pet supplies: Christopher Schafer Clothier is offering 20 percent off their custom suits, jackets, pants, tuxedos, and shirts, and Animal Kingdom of Santa Monica is giving voters 5 percent off non-food and service purchases over $25.
Vintage home furnishings and art store California Rediscovered is offering a 10 percent discount to give back to customers who take time out of their day to vote, said co-owner Allison Whitney. Other artistically-minded voters can paint on a free canvas while taking a class at PAINT:LAB.
“Encouraging people to vote is important to us, period,” Whitney said. “Any way we can offer an incentive for people to have their voices heard, to make democracy work, is something that matters to us.”