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'7-Election' Coffee Cups Return to 7-Eleven Stores

IRIVING, Texas — This presidential election is getting more heated with 7-Eleven's fifth quadrennial 7-Election Presidential Coffee Cup Poll.

Now through Nov. 8 (Election Day) at participating 7-Eleven stores, customers can "cast their cups" by purchasing coffee in specially marked 7-Election cups: blue for Democrat, red for Republican and new this year, a purple, nonpartisan "Speak Up" cup.

"This is 7-Eleven's fifth 7-Election, and it's always a fun way to keep a finger on the caffeinated pulse of American politics," said Laura Gordon, 7-Eleven's vice president of marketing and brand innovation. "Weeks before 7-Election cups appeared in stores, we were getting calls about whether we were going to hold another coffee cup poll for the 2016 election. We think it's the best-tasting poll around."

The new Speak Up cup encourages customers to discuss or write in what's important to them this election season in the "Make Your Voices Heard" section on the back of the cup. Customers can then share their thoughts on social media with the hashtag #7ELECTION.

"While preparing for the 2016 count-the-cups poll, we learned that voters, particularly younger ones, aren't just talking about candidates or even political parties this election. They're taking to social media to talk about a variety of issues that are important to them," Gordon said. "So we added the third Speak Up cup to let people say what's on their mind, whether checking one of the boxes on the back of the cup or writing one in and sharing it." 

To encourage customers to cast their cups, 7-Eleven is holding Free Coffee Week Oct. 3-9. During the week, any size of 7-Eleven coffee will be free for 7Rewards members. The free coupon will be available through the 7-Eleven mobile app.

In addition to Free Coffee Week, 7-Eleven will host a Dollar Day on Sept. 27, Oct. 10 and Oct. 20, following each of the three presidential debates, as well as on Election Day. The dollar offers are only available on 7-Election cups through the 7Rewards app.

7-Election cups count toward the retailer's 7Rewards "buy six, get the seventh free" drink offer available on the 7-Eleven mobile app.

Designed especially for the coffee cup poll, 7-Eleven customers can visit starting Sept. 6 to see the poll tallies of those who voted in the Coffee Cup Poll, including national, state and major city results.

"Each day, more than 1 million Americans buy a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven stores," noted Rusty Smith, 7-Eleven director of proprietary beverage brands. "7-Election is a warmup for the real election Nov. 8, and gets people talking about what party and what issues are important to them. Most polls measure only hundreds or thousands of voters. 7-Election has the potential to survey millions leading up to Election Day. We think the new Speak Up cup provides a great way for our loyal coffee customers to let their voices be heard during the 2016 election."

After working with the satirical website The Onion for the 2012 election, 7-Eleven will work with the company once again as sponsor of the website's special election coverage, which will include links to the interactive 7-Election results map. An Onion-style Election Survival Guide will cover topics like "Ways to Diffuse Tension During a Political Conversation," "Election Day Social Media Etiquette" and "How to Handle Your Candidate's Defeat."

With 7-Election, the convenience retailer has been an entertaining part of the political conversation during the past four presidential elections in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. In each of the previous 7-Elections, 6 million cups (ballots) were cast, and results in each mirrored those in the "real" elections, the company noted.

Irving-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and licenses more than 10,700 7-Eleven stores in North America. 

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