October 25 (RIA Novosti)
A sporting goods store owner in the United States was under fire from a Georgia state senator this week for offering customers raffle tickets to win a rifle or handgun if they can prove they vote in the November election.
“Getting people involved is what it’s all about,” Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace said about the promotion his business is holding, the Associated Press reported. “I would encourage other businesses to do the same thing.”
Eight billboards displaying the “Vote. Win a Rifle” promotion in Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta and surrounding areas caught the attention of Democratic State Senator Vincent Fort, who filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office in hopes of ending the raffle.
The Georgian senator said the promotion violated state law, which prohibits anyone from offering money or handouts in exchange for voting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Businesses are not even allowed to offer free food or drinks to constituents.
Wallace defends the advertisement, which urges people to bring in their “I voted” proof of voting stickers to enter a raffle for a chance to win a Glock handgun or Browning rifle.
“I know I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from people telling me thumbs-up, that they like it,” Wallace told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
No action will be taken by the secretary of state’s office as long as the store owner allows any Georgia resident, even those that cannot prove they voted, to enter the raffle, which Wallace said he plans to do.
“Should they violate what they told our office they would do, then that will be taken into account and actions will be taken accordingly,” said Jared Thomas, spokesman for the Georgia secretary of state’s office.
Fort now considers the raffle legal, since Wallace has expanded it to allow all customers to participate.
“I don’t have any objections to it if it complies with the law,” Fort said.
Aside from Fort’s initial negative response to the promotion, Wallace said feedback has been “almost 100 percent positive.”
“Well, since this is probably the most important election in my lifetime, anything that gets the public out to vote is good as long as it doesn’t break the law,” Georgia resident John Keels told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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