‘Treating’ voters was outlawed but seldom punished

“Bribery laws directed at elections tended to criminalize vote buying instead of law buying (paying a candidate to get a law passed)….

“North Carolina passed an 1801 statute that prohibited [“treating,”] giving voters meat or drink or anything else of value on election day…..

“The North Carolina Supreme Court in 1850 held that treating is  ‘among the most corrupting practices of candidates for office….It is bribery of the most vicious and destructive tendency.’ But it seems to have happened all the time and was rarely punished….”

– From “Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United” by Zephyr Teachout (2014)