Voting Mechanism

Here’s a different take on “weighted voting,” from a CNN article about the French Senate passing the pension bill:

As is the custom in the Senate, senators voted Friday by placing plastic credit-card sized tokens into one of three different urns indicating a vote for, against or in abstention. The cards were then poured out into a scale and the vote was calculated by the total weight of tokens in each urn.
Just knowing that something like this exists makes me happy. I wonder if there are other funky voting things out there. I’m trying to think about how something like this might be used as a mechanic for a board game. You could have a plastic tub with several divisions. Each turn, players would put marbles or something into the different tubs based on something in the game. The tub would have a removable bottom, and at some point during the game the bottom would be removed, letting the marbles fall onto some sort of balance scale device, and you would see the result by which way the balance tipped, or maybe there’s some more complex mechanism, something Rube Goldberg-esque, that is affected by the weights of the various divisions.

Or I suppose you could have marbles that weigh different amounts but that are the same size and are painted the same color. So you would have them made of different materials (different metals or metal alloys? different woods?), and their weights would be such that a computer inside a scale could determine how many of each are in the container by weight. However, no one would know what anyone else was contributing to the tub (you would know either by the weight difference, or perhaps there could be different textures put on them so that you could tell the difference by feel). OK, maybe that doesn’t work out mathematically, at least not for large numbers of marbles, but maybe there could be something for smaller numbers of marbles. Or maybe the tub could have a mechanism inside it for sorting the marbles by weight, something that is invisible to the players.

Anyway, just some random thoughts about using weight as a voting mechanic. Anyone else have ideas? Anyone know of an existing board game that uses some kind of weight mechanic?

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2 Responses to Voting Mechanism

  1. Alan says:

    _Don't Spill the Beans_ :)

  2. Kevin Jackson-Mead says:

    Hah! I loved that game as a kid. Now I'm thinking about a modified Don't Spill the Beans! Thanks :-)

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