Do you have what it takes to win a US election?  Learn what it takes to become the next political party candidate  in the upcoming election.

 Buy The Vote Logo

Buy The Vote (2020)
Designer(s) Justin Chang, David Dai Artist(s) Paul Kahn Publisher

Coozies Games

2-5 9+ 15m

 I would like start by saying that in no way are we, WVGamers, trying to make you choose a side in the upcoming election.  We are just reviewing an up and coming game that was presented to us that looked really fascinating.  Now, without further ado.

Buy Your Vote is an easy to learn educational game where you are bidding to win states to gain the electoral college votes to win the upcoming election. The neat thing is if you win first place, you are the parties candidate, and second place is your running mate.  If you both combine for a total of 270 electoral college votes you win the election and become President and Vice President of the United States of America.  Surprise, that is what is needed to actually win a US Presidential Election.
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The copy of the game that I was provided is a prototype.  I can not speak on the box dimensions nor the materials of the final Kickstarter version of the game.  However, I can speak on the components that are essential to game play. The game comes with state cards that have numbers on them representing how many electoral college votes the state receives due to its population size. They are also colored red, blue and yellow depending on how the state typically votes: republican, democrat, or a swing state. The game contains five player mats as well as five voting booth screens that players will utilize during game play.  There are nine numbered place labels that will be utilized as the play board where cards will be set up during game play.  There is also card board money in $1 million (green) and $5 million (yellow) denominations.  

Buy The Vote 2Mechanics

The game play is relatively easy.  You will be on a 15 minute timer, and you and your opponents are betting money on states where you want to win the electoral college votes.  The game is played over the course of 8 rounds or until the timer runs out. Each round, the number of state cards you can bet on also increases, which you need to be careful on how you want to bet on the state cards as money is lost when you bet on a state (win or lose). 

A round is set up that you will flip over the designated number of state cards for that specific number of rounds.  You will place your voter booth screen around your player mat.  You then proceed by placing your wager or bet in the box that correlates with the state cards in the play area.  Once players are ready and placed one of their hands down on the table, every player will remove their voting booth screen to reveal their wagers. 

  • Winning a State: The player who has the most money placed in a given state's spot will win that state and take the card.  The state card is placed under your player mat with the number of "votes" and bar showing, and the "votes" are totaled together at the end of the game. 
    • Swing State: If you win a swing state (yellow color in the prototype version), it gives you an ability where you are able to steal a state from an opponent that was most recently won during that round; this effect happens immediately. If it is part of a stack of state cards, it must be the top card that was added this round for the ability to trigger.
  • Tied Highest Bets on a State: If the highest bid ends in a tie, no one wins the state. The state card is left where it is, and another state will be added on top of it in the next round making that space more valuable. 
  • No Bets: Players do not have to vote on every state; skipped states will build up becoming more valuable in later rounds.

Buy The Vote 4Money used on bets are always lost regardless whether you win, lose, or tie. 

Once that round is completed, you proceed to the next round.  You re-set up the player board area with new state cards, covering any previous state cards that were not won. You will then place your voting booth around your player mat space and continue game play through all the rounds or until the time runs out.

You begin the game with $10 million that you can utilize through the first 3 rounds of the game.  So betting strategically may work out in your favor over the course of 3 rounds.  During the fourth round, you will receive an additional $20 million as well as an additional $2 million for each state card that you have control of (located under your player mat).  During the 7th round, you will receive $30 million as well as an additional $2 million for each state card that you have control of. 


Future Expand-ability?

This game would be beneficial for educators that teach government or economical classes to demonstrate how an election is won.  I can also see this game adding expansions to it to also include House of Representatives, House of Delegates or even local government officials.  

Final Thoughts

I hold a Bachelor's in Secondary Education and History, and I found the game informative and very educational.  It shows the concept behind the process of winning a Presidential Election here in the United States as well as showing the current demographic of how the states are broken down into the different political affiliations.  It is also nice to see a simple version of a political game that is easy for young and old people to understand, which helps get the game started quicker. I can not wait to see what the final version of this game will look like.  It is currently fully funded on Kickstarter, and they are hoping to have this game in the hands of the backers in time for the upcoming election on November 3, 2020.  

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Buy the Vote is live on Kickstarter as of the date of publishing this article. It's campaign will run through September 1st, 2020; be sure to check out their Kickstarter page. 

Buy The Vote Board Game Geek Page

 Publisher Product Page


We received the product prototype in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.