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Register to vote at McDonald’s Oct. 4

Lunch will be served hot with fries, a cold drink, an apple pie and … a voter registration card.

Offering America’s signature dessert at one of its signature franchises is a unique way to get people to exercise their right to vote, but that’s the approach the McDonald’s in Selma is taking.

Its MAC the Vote registration drive is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the restaurant’s location at 600 Highland Ave., and the goal is to get as many people as possible eligible for the election process.

For some who live in the seat of the Voting Rights Movement, that’s music to their ears.

“It’s important because people died for out right to vote, and it’s a good thing for people to get out to vote,” said Melloney Moss, 24, who has been a registered voter since she was 18-years-old. “For young people, I think we really need to vote. We need more positive people to do things like that. It’ll make a difference.”

Everyone who registers that Saturday will receive a free apple pie and is also eligible for a drawing for a $100 Arch card, which gives credit toward meals at the restaurant. Everyone that brings five people with them to register will receive a free MAC the Vote T-shirt.

Wesley Hall, a manager at the restaurant, said the historical significance of the city was one of the things that inspired the voter registration drive.

“We felt this was a good time to do it,” Hall said. “We were talking about the presidential race, and a couple of our crew members said they had never voted and didn’t know how to register to vote. We just want to get them registered. The national election is the one that’s looming, but we want them to vote in all elections — local, state as well as national.”

Recently, there has been a spike in Selma’s registered voter numbers, according to Registrar Pat Phillips. She said that has a lot to do with the historical significance of the upcoming presidential election.

Barack Obama, who has visited Selma and would become the first black American president, is opposing John McCain, who has selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. If McCain is elected, Palin would become the highest-ranking female executive to ever work in the White House.

“We hardly can keep up with them. We have applications coming out of the woods,” Phillips said. “Voter drives are ongoing all the time. We’re getting people in their 60s and 70s that never registered.”

Brian Sanders, 18, will soon register to vote for the first time. He says, however, the historical impact of the upcoming election doesn’t weigh much on his mind.

“We need to be aware of who’s going to be in charge. We need to be able to trust them, too,” he said. “Black, white, female, doesn’t matter. Whoever I feel is going to be the right person in charge is who I’m going to vote for.”