NYS Politics



Some deals are too pure for this world. According to the state Board of Elections, offering delicious hot pot and Chinese barbecue to New Yorkers who vote is technically a class “E” felony. The issue was first addressed by the board in 2009, in response to a complaint that a convenience store was giving out ice cream cones to the children of voters.

In the board’s view, “Any person who directly or indirectly, pays, lends, or contributes, or offers to…any money or other valuable consideration to or for any voter, or to or for any other person, to induce such voter to vote or refrain from at any election…is guilty of a felony.”

Still, a spokesperson for the BOE said he was not aware of anyone being prosecuted for incentivizing people to vote via free food.


That’s strange. A News outlet a year or three ago did an item on it, with some Australian Immigrants putting on Democracy Sausages for the upcoming(at the time) presidential election, and they investigated pretty thoroughly, and as best they could tell, it was legal.


Making it illegal to Incentivize people to just vote in general is dumb. Of course it should be illegal to incentivize to vote for a certain candidate, but making it illegal to incentivize just voting at all is silly. The more people vote the more democratic the system is- OH WAIT THAT’S WHY ITS ILLEGAL SO CERTAIN GROUPS CAN TRY TO MAINTAIN POWER!


Could be a NY thing.


I mean, while I agree with the sentiment. I’m reasonably sure the law was put in place to make illegal incentivizing voting for a certain candidate but they couldn’t come up with a way to do it without jut outright making illegal incentivizing voting full stop.

Just a guess, based on the kind of nonsense that happened back in the Tammany Hall days.


Exactly my thoughts. A lot of the laws/regulations/etc. we have are a result of jerks/idiots/etc. at some point in the past screwing things up for the rest of us, hence why we can’t have nice things.


Cuomo: Fuck you, I’ll see you in court.

Also Cuomo 30 minutes later: Oh also, can I get some money please?

Bold strategy there, bucko.


Definitely possible. And plus, it’s not like we don’t have a bunch of laws that regulate a lot of things about democracy sausages, like where and how you are allowed to do it - for example, you’re not allowed to do it for profit, it must be at a polling location, it must be at least X distance from and have no relation to or involvement with any political signage or advertising, etc. Sure, fun thing to talk about, but it’s not a free for all.


Does it have to be sausage? Or can I do Democracy Lasagna? Or Democracy Rice and Beans and Cheese? Democracy Ceviche?


The rancor cooks the fish!


Tried to get the free food. It was legit. They were really giving out free food to everyone with a voting sticker.

Problem: I thought it would be an all you can eat buffet. Nope. It was only actual hot pot or BBQ. Have to sit down. That would take two hours minimum. Had to go back to work. I see how they don’t lose much money on this.

Coincidence: San Gennaro festival has started. It is a 90+ year old festival that takes place every year in Little Italy. Nowadays it’s kinda lame. The same stands that setup at the street fair every weekend around the city setup in Little Italy. The only difference is that they block off the streets to traffic and the Italian restaurants also push out into the street.

But yes, that’s the way to get democracy lasanga, or democracy cannolis. There was a polling place a block away.


Well, Democracy Sausage is honestly kind of a simplification. Sausages are obviously the primary item on the menu, ,but there’s often also (cheap) steaks, vegetarian options, sometimes other food stalls, cake stalls and sweets, cold drinks(or hot drinks, depending on the season). While it’s kind of an unwritten rule that you have to have some sort of sausage offering, you can have all sorts of other foods, confections and drinks.

Of course, the catch is, it varies by polling location - some will have a simple barbecue and sausages in white bread, some are almost like a small school fete.