Free Lattes, Finger Sandwiches for Bel Air Voters - NBC Southern California
2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Free Lattes, Finger Sandwiches for Bel Air Voters

Voters are getting free valet parking and hors d’oeuvres at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel



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    One voter got a plateful of goodies from the posh spread offered at her polling place, the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Bel Air, which was offering a "luxury voting experience" on Tuesday.

    Most California polling places are in school cafeterias, community center rec rooms, church basements, and even homeowners' garages.

    Not so in two precincts in wealthy Brentwood and Bel Air, where voters will cast their ballots this Election Day in a luxury hotel that's offering free valet parking and a buffet of finger sandwiches, cookies, lattes and other treats.

    "In true Luxe fashion, the hotel will be offering voters in precincts 9001354A and 9001364A a unique voting experience," wrote the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on its blog.

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    The 161-room Bel Air hotel, part of a chain of 200-plus hotels around the world, is "situated on seven secluded acres of lush gardens," according to its website.

    "I couldn't help bringing out the coffees and the teas and the hot chocolates," said hotel owner Efrem Harkham, who began hosting a polling place in the Luxe's ballroom four years ago.

    The amenities are designed to give voters a reason not to shirk their democratic duty, he said.

    The two precincts that vote at the Luxe include homes in the wealthy communities of Brentwood and Bel Air.

    As originally reported by LA Observed and CurbedLA, the hotel's blog post promised every voter a discount voucher for a future dinner at the hotel's restaurant, along with special room rates.

    "With these kind of perks, people are going to demand to vote more often!" the post had read.

    Since the original offer was posted, the hotel's blog has since been updated to expand the hotel's offer to all residents of the exclusive westside Los Angeles 90049 zip code.

    Federal law prohibits businesses from offering special deals to voters, but the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel was far from the only local establishment making such offers this election season.

    Harkham said he's certain what he Luxe does is within the bounds of federal law.

    The Bel Air hotel's "luxury voting experience" marks a stark contrast to long lines at the polls in New York in New Jersey, where many voters are still without power in the wake of the massive storm Sandy.

    In the Rockaways in outer New York City, residents were voting in an unheated tent with no lights, according to NPR.

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