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Emerald Youth Foundation uses board games and fun to teach kids about the electoral college

Kids play board game and learn more about role states play in presidential elections
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Thursday afternoon four kids from the Emerald Youth Foundation’s after school program gathered around a table to play a board game.

Asked before the start if any of the four knew anything about the electoral college, all four answered no.

The game the four were playing is called “The Presidential." A game where players take turns campaigning or fundraising in states, in an effort to get the 270 votes that are required to win the presidential election.

Equipped with a quick run-through, and newfound basic knowledge of the electoral college, two boys, Dale and Kendall, along with two girls, Mikayla and Andalicia, played the game.

Given the chance to choose first, the two young women elected to be the Republican side, leaving the boys to be the Democrat party representatives.

When asking the boys their strategy to 270, they said they wanted to go for as many small states as possible first, and then they would attack the larger states later.

For Alicia and Mikayla, they wanted the large states first and then the small states, if they still needed points.

The girls, went for states like New York, Florida, and Ohio, winning sizeable leads. Meanwhile, the boys took California but spent time-fighting for states like Washington, and the Dakotas, leaving behind important votes.

“Play smarter and go for the bigger state first and then aim for the lowest,” said Dale and Kendall looking back on their eventual losing strategy.

The two put up a fight that came down to the District of Columbia to clinch.

“I don’t know. I feel like we had a good strategy going on,” said Mikayla and Alicia.

The four learned why states are important. For Dale and Kendall, they learned why some who live in states like the Dakotas feel left out at election time.

“Because no-one came to our place to get our vote,” said Kendall and Dale.

Tuesday, when President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden battle for the white house, they’ll be counting states, like the four preteens did Thursday, showing how important the points in certain states are, compared to others.

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