I've seen a few businesses, all small, announcing something like "vote against X, and we'll give you Y" or "For the next X days, Y% of profits will be used [in some way] against Z". I'm not asking about using it towards issues, like raising funds for disability aide or similar; rather, specifically against a candidate or active president or congressman. Is this legal? And if not, which law is being violated?

  • "vote against X, and we'll give you Y" seems unlikely, since votes are secret. In fact, they are secret to prevent that kind of things from happening.
    – Pere
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 17:12
  • Yeah I don't know how they planned on confirming that. Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


There is a federal law, 18 USC 597 which says

Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and Whoever solicits, accepts, or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

In light of which it is unlikely that anybody would make such an offer all that openly. I've never seen such an offer, but maybe somebody thinks it's legal. If you have a link to such a thing, it would be interesting to see.

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