Coupons For Votes: Genius Or Illegal?

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(Memphis) A candidate's unique approach to get your vote may land him in hot water.

Martavius Jones is running for a seat on the county commission and some are wondering if the campaign fliers he's sending out are illegal.

Jones purchased 20,000 of the cards to send to voters in District 10.

On the front he's listed his accomplishments, but it's what's on the back that's causing a stir.

Coupons for 10% off at 10 different businesses if you show Jones' flier.

"The discounts that someone might enjoy that's not discounted to me. I don't receive any type of re-numeration, reimbursement, kickback nothing financially," said Jones.

But his opponent Reginald Milton questions if it's legal.

It is against state law to bribe or bargain with voters.

"We want to always separate ourselves from trying to buy the voters. and this kind of crossed the line," said Reginald Milton, District 10 candidate.

Jones says the same can be said for candidates renting buses to take voters to the polls.

"Whoever receives this they are under absolutely no obligation to vote for me. absolutely none. There was no exchange of consideration, money or anything of value for those businesses to appear on there," said Jones.

However, Milton cautions voters this isn't the first controversy recently surrounding Jones.

"The truth is you want someone who is not always going to be having some controversy, Mr. Jones, as simple a thing as getting 25 signatures, he ended up having to hire a lawyer to get himself on the ballot."

The election commission says it has never seen anything like Jones' coupons and is asking for a legal opinion.

Meanwhile, merchants say it's been great for business.

"From a business stand point I thought it was quite creative. It helped him out and it helped us out as well," said Anita Tate, owner The Grille.

You can use the coupons over and over again. Just present the flier each time.

The catch is the deal expires May 7th, one day after the primary election.


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