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'Checks and Balances': Low voter turnout, partisan bickering inspire board-game developers

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The two player card game - one plays a Democrat, the other a Republican - takes players from the campaign trail to the election and then into congress to pass legislation featured in the party's platforms. (KATU)

A recent survey found that just 26 percent of Americans can name the three branches of government.

And only around 55 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

Those facts prompted board game developer Sasha Bentley and her husband, Chris Johnson, to come up with a game called Checks and Balances.

“We were so disappointed not who won or lost, but the voter turnout,” Bentley said. “I mean, the people in our country are not voting. So we were thinking how do we get people to want to vote?

The two player card game - one plays a Democrat, the other a Republican - takes players from the campaign trail to the election and then into congress to pass legislation featured in the party's platforms.

Bentley sees it as a way for people to find common ground, regardless of party affiliation.

“We need to bridge the divide that we have in our country and really, just come back together and have decent conversations with each other,” she said. Bentley hopes the game might catch on in schools as a fun tool to teach kids about the American system of government, but also to spark discussions with friends and neighbors that they might not otherwise have.

“We were surprised to see nothing like this exists and it's overdue,” Bentley said in a news release. “We can't wait to see people start to play and share the game with their communities.”

And by the way, the three branches of government are judicial, legislative and the executive branch.

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