|The Game of Politics or, The Race for the Presidency.
|W.S. Reed Toy Co. (Jeanie P. Clarke, designer; Forbes and Co. Litho., engraver)
|h. 24.25 x w. 23.62 in. (h. 61.59 x w. 60 cm)
|U.S. Senate Collection
The Game of Politics, or The Race for the Presidency board game was first published in 1887 and later patented in 1889. Developed by a newspaper man and his wife (James W. and Jeanie P. Clarke of Boston, MA), the game simulated the American electoral college system. Players acted as candidates competing against each other to reach the office of mayor, governor, and congressman before moving on to battle over each state's electoral college votes for the U.S. presidency. The game's design was no doubt inspired by the passage of the Electoral Count Act of 1887. The result of a special committee charged with investigating the allegations of fraud in the disputed presidential election of 1876, this legislation clarified procedures for the submission and counting of electoral votes. The February 19, 1889 patent described in detail the rules of the game, including the requirement of a majority, 201 electoral votes (out of 401 total), to win the game.