In 2016, in the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, the Tower Road Branch put up an interactive bulletin board. The concept was simple;if you were to vote for a YA fictional character to be president, who would you choose?
We decided there would be four candidates running in this "election," representing four different parties. In most democratic elections, several parties are represented. In our election, we had Harry Potter as the candidate for the Fantasy Party; Jacob Portman from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs representing the Paranormal Party; Nancy Drew Representing the Mystery Party; and Katniss Everdeen representing the Dystopia Party. Each character was represented by a picture and a quote exemplifying their values.
Patrons at the Tower Road Branch were able to vote throughout October 2016 and up until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. A black pen was attached by a string to the bulletin board to allow patrons to place hash marks below the picture of each character.
Votes were tallied on November 9, and we found that Katniss Everdeen won the election by only 5 votes, with 175 total votes. Harry Potter was the next runner-up, with 170 votes, and Jacob Portman received 7 votes.
Interestingly, we had a case of voter fraud in our election. Obviously our voting system was not especially fraud-proof, but as the librarian maintaining the bulletin board, I checked the bulletin board regularly. Between about 5 PM one evening and 9 AM the next morning, Nancy Drew's vote total had jumped from 76 to 226 votes, which would have put her far and away in the lead. However, upon inspecting this bump, I noted that all the new votes were all noted down in the same shade of blue ink. A black pen was still attached to the bulletin board. At the time, the library closed on most weekdays at 8 p.m., so the board had only gone unobserved for three hours. So, a single blue pen, within the space of only a few hours, had added 150 votes to Nancy Drew's total. We felt we could only conclude from this mystery that Nancy had gained these votes from voter fraud. Nancy Drew was therefore disqualified from the race.
On November 9, we announced via the bulletin board that Katniss had won the election and was our YA fictional president. We also declared that Harry Potter was her vice president; between 1789 and 1804, the runner-up in presidential elections would become the vice president!
Now it's 2020, and we've just had another presidential election, so we figured we'd hold another, more digital, election! Please follow this link to vote on your favorite candidate. You'll see that there are two new candidates, Starr Carter and Simon Spier, both representing the Contemporary Party. They have replaced Jacob Portman, who retired from political life, and Nancy Drew, who was disqualified. While having two candidates from the same party in the same election is unusual, it does sometimes happen! In this election, Florida voters had the option to approve Amendment 3, which would have altered primaries in the state to run based on a "Top-Two Open Primaries" system. Sometimes called a "jungle primary," this kind of primary guarantees that the top two most popular candidates in a primary advance to the election--this sometimes means that candidates from the same party end up running against each other in an election.
We'll tally any votes that come in during the rest of the month of November and make another blog post announcing a winner in early December! May the best fictional character win!