Election Day is here! After the culmination of months and years of hard work, campaigns, and strategizing, it’s finally time for Americans to cast their ballot to determine who will be spending the next four years in the White House.

According to a Circle poll (www.civicyouth.org), about 67.3% of college voters are “very” or “extremely” likely to vote. In the 2008 election, 87% of youths enrolled in college cast their ballot on Election Day, which was the highest turnout of registered students since 1984. As a result of this, the expectation is much higher this year. More college students are paying attention to the election this year and are being encouraged to cast their ballot today.

Student organizations at colleges such as the University of Connecticut have been encouraging students to register to vote and cast their ballots. These organizations at the UConn campus have been passing out flyers not only to raise awareness about the candidates, but also to provide the students with information on how and where to vote. They’ve gone dorm to dorm trying to collect as many voters as they could and are taking it upon themselves to inform the students about the candidates.

Similarly, Skidmore College will be hosting a 2012 presidential election activities event at the Tang Museum. In an effort to get more voters, their student organization has put together the “Election Returns Extravaganza” which will offer prizes for students wearing “I just voted” stickers, food, coverage of the election returns, and show campaign and debate reaction highlights from shows such as SNL.

Apart from colleges doing their part, many companies have been giving away freebies and deals and are hosting fun promos for those that voted today. This not only brings brand awareness to the companies helping out, but also gives Americans more of a reason to vote because who wouldn’t want freebies and deals? Here are some promos and giveaways that might interest you:

  • Starbucks is giving out free “indivisible” wristbands to those who visit on Election Day.
  • Get free sopapillas at On the Border with the purchase of an entree, and free burgers at Z Burger for those wearing an “I Voted” sticker.
  • Get a free donut at Tim Horton’s with the purchase of a drink and wearing an “I Voted” sticker.
  • Come in to any Olive Garden with an “I voted” sticker and receive a free Dolcini dessert with any entrée.
  • White Castle is offering a free small sweet potato waffle fry with any purchase to those wearing the “I Voted” sticker.
  • Check out discounts at Urban Outfitters (20% off), DazzleandDecorate (20% off), The All American Clothing Co (10% or 17% off on sweatshirts), and Zip Car (receive half off the regular rates for rides to or from polling stations.)
  • Marinello Schools of Beauty is offering complimentary haircuts to those with a sticker, and an additional purchase.
  • Groupon has an entire section dedicated to Election Deals.
  • JetBlue’s Election Protection Program: If your candidate doesn’t win the election, JetBlue is offering a chance to win a trip out of the country.  You have to vote to enter.

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