Charlotte teen harnesses power of Popeyes lines for civic good

Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe (Getty Images)

As the nation continues to reel from yesterday’s news that initial shortages of the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich have escalated into a full-on discontinuation of the item, it’s time to reflect on what good The Sandwich has done over the last few weeks. It was delicious while it lasted; it gave Popeyes the kind of visibility that every fast-food restaurant dreams about; and at least in Charlotte, North Carolina, it even got a few Americans involved in the electoral process.

WCNC reports of 17-year-old David Ledbetter, who went to his local Popeyes location over the weekend to help some customers waiting in long lines register to vote. While he’s still personally just short of voting age, Ledbetter saw an opportunity to encourage others to become more active: “I decided to register people to vote after I saw there was a lack of young people politically involved... A lot of young people wanted to try the sandwich and we knew we had to come to the young people and that was the only way they would be more motivated to be engaged.”

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While many in line were already active voters, Ledbetter was still able to register more than a dozen Popeyes customers who previously were not. As the fervor over The Sandwich has led some to comment on social media about how a trend shouldn’t supercede the importance of political awareness at present, The Takeout tips its cap to David for understanding that the two can exist in harmony. At least until the sandwiches sell out, and we collectively go back to other, far less enjoyable concerns.

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