Elections are important. Voting even more so. Because it isn’t often that we, as common citizens (I assume most of us are, anyway) have a real way to get our opinions heard. Sure, you can call congresspeople, protest, etc, and those are all great things. But to make the most difference, you have to use your voting power.

And in case 2016 wasn’t enough of a wake up call to remind us of that, I have for you some fictional examples of when voting was really really important. Some of these turned out great, and some not so much, but they all showcase the power of using your vote.

If you haven’t read Mockingjay… you may want to skip this one. You have been warned!

At the end of the book (see why I warned you?) Katniss and the rest of the surviving victors are given a choice by Coin: Do they hold one final Hunger Games, featuring children of Capitol officials? Obviously this is a pretty serious vote- they have to straight up decide if they want to kill more kids. I know what my vote would have been! But Katniss uses her vote in a very unique way: As an opportunity, as a final weapon against Coin. And frankly, it’s brilliant.

Now, you might think that your vote won’t lead to you overthrowing a dangerous, ill-equipped leader… but alas, here we are in 2018 and that is exactly what your vote could be doing.

You sure, lady?

(Spoilers from Season 3!)

Ohhh this one kills me every time. It’s like Jason Rothenberg is some kind of freaking oracle, and saw what our country was about to do, and wrote it into the show. Here’s how it goes down, short version style:

Marcus Kane, the former Chancellor, having handed his title over to Abby in his absence, wants peace to last in Arkadia, their home base. Hence, he wants to become Chancellor again the “right way”, by being voted in by his people. But spoiler! People are stupid. Enter Pike.

Charles Pike, former teacher from the Ark who was literally just discovered in Azgeda territory with the rest of Farm Station, hates Grounders. Because several Azgeda soldiers killed his people, he assumes that all Grounders must be evil. And wants to fight everyone. No matter how much Kane, Abby, Octavia, and basically anyone else with a few brain cells try to explain otherwise. So his peons suggest he run against Kane.

Kane, I would not have ratted you out had you pretended you won. Just saying.

Can you guess how this goes down? Kane and his friends assumed it was in the bag; it wasn’t. Pike won, killed 300 Grounders who were there to protect them, nearly started an unwinnable war, and even tried executing some of his own people. Pike and his cronies were on the wrong damn side of history. And so was anyone in Arkadia who slept in that morning and didn’t vote because “eh, Kane will probably win anyway”. Just ask Lincoln. Oh wait, you can’t. 😭

Spoilers from this, I guess? Idk, it’s a picture book, about bunnies so.

I mean, this is a departure, because let’s face it, we need some happy voting in here too! Not just “killing kids” and “how could you, Pike?!” Plus, this is a great one if you want to teach kids about voting and not being awful! Marlon Bundo is a bunny who loves Wesley, who is also a bunny. Only, The Stinkbug is in charge, and says that boy bunnies cannot marry boy bunnies. Because the Stinkbug is The Worst™, the animals decide to take a vote to see who will be in charge. And since these animals aren’t assholes, they get rid of The Stinkbug, and Marlon and Wesley are free to marry. They even dream of having a baby bunny, who I named Barack Obunny.

Scythe, and Thunderhead by extension, focuses a lot on political corruption and upheaval. But more than even that, it delves into how people in charge make the really hard decisions. Which, is often what voting is all about. In this series, there is a lot of vying to attract voters, which could not be more like the real world. Some of the vote-seekers are on the up and up, some are incredibly underhanded and shady. Again, it mirrors real life so completely.

As our newly minted scythes get thrown into this system, they begin to realize how much is really at stake, just like we all do (or should after 2016).

Is this fictional? I don’t know, I suppose, in the sense that it is a game? But it is also real because we are real people playing, so. Do with it what you will. But. There is a shitton of voting involved either way!

Fun story: the most recent game, Vicious, just ended. It… did not go well if you were Team Victor. And I… was Victor. Not just Team Victor, but the actual dude Victor. And a vote did me dirty, guys. See, when voting, you have to really think about who you want to vote for. Are you doing the best thing for your people? Or are you sacrificing your leader, your healer, your cop? (Fine, that example may apply only to the Games.)

The thing about actual politics, much like the Games, is that you never really know who you can trust. I turned out to be trustworthy (I mean, not to the mafia, but I digress) and no one believed me. Oh also one of the reasons I died was because I didn’t vote, so maybe there’s a lesson for you: If you don’t vote, a bunch of your friends will kill you. 

Let’s end this on a light note, shall we? Those bitches voted about everything. To join the club, to leave the club, who was going to answer the phone what snacks they wanted, I have no idea. And I think it goes to show you that even the youngest among us can be influential. And that sometimes you need group approval to buy Cheetos, I guess?

Or popcorn, as the case were.

So with all of this in mind… please vote tomorrow, American friends who are eligible! It means so, so much. This is hands down one of the most important elections of our lifetime- and definitely the most important midterm election we’ll ever see. So do the thing!

And do feel free to share stories and chat about voting in general!

Posted November 5, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 31 Comments


31 responses to “Fictional Votes, Real Life Lessons

  1. The only books I have read from this list was the Babysitters’ Club, but I love everything you included here. I was not familiar with Marlon Bundo. What an awesome story. I now vote by mail, because the commute makes it hard to make a polling site, and NJ doesn’t do that nice weekend, early voting thing. Imagine, the only election I missed voting in was when I lived in Florida, in Duval County, and we had the hanging chad incident. It was actually an election where every vote counted, and I didn’t poke my card that year.

    • Aw thank you!! Marlon Bundo is ADORABLE! (And the fact that it is mocking the vice president is a bonus for the grown ups 😂) UGH Pennsylvania sucks with voting too- no early voting, and from what I have heard getting an absentee ballot isn’t very easy either. I’m going to bring Sammy tomorrow because he is such a fan of Bob Casey (a senator up for reelection!) that I figure he can do some last minute campaigning hahha.

      Oh my goodness! That really WAS that sort of election- especially there! I missed that election by literal days, and I was SO salty, especially because I was in college and I felt like a jerk because everyone else was voting and I mean, I couldn’t change my age haha.

  2. I voted the moment early voting opened, but right after I felt a bit of panic because it was all out of my hands now and I had to play the dreaded waiting game. I will be watching CNN and drinking wine Tuesday night, thank you very much!

    • I am SO jealous of anyone who has early voting. Why does PA think it’s 1983? Like- I have to fill my ballot out with a Number 2 pencil, I shit you not. My mom’s voting place at least has computers, but here I am like some kind of caveperson! I will definitely need a drink or two myself- I don’t even know if I CAN watch it because uhhh the last time I did well… there are some bad memories there as I am sure you’ll agree with!

  3. I love this post! Your graphic are so good. And Marlon Bundo is awesome. Sometimes I wish I had kids just so I had an excuse to buy more picture books. I voted as soon as early voting opened. I guess I was overeager. Now people are probably sick of me reminding them to vote.

  4. Ah, I love this post and its message, Shannon! I’m not from the US, but I’m still anxious to see the results, so I obviously can’t even imagine what you all are feeling. <3 It's so so SO important to vote, and it baffles me when people don't care enough to go and vote here. We had elections last spring and haha, they turned out totally expectedly but awfully – the disappointed but not at all surprised scenario. Anyhow, it made me so mad to hear my own damned friends say stuff like "oh, neither party won my vote." Girrrl, our current government (then and now too) had a nearly year long hate-campaign against immigrants and is inching towards the far-right more and more, HOW can you not vote AGAINST that. Smh. ANYHOW, sorry for the rant haha, this is just something I'm passionate about. Fantastic post! 🙂

    • AW thank you SO much!! ♥♥ I agree with you completely- there was SO much of that going around in 2016, and I was just like… okay, then you basically DESERVE this mess right!? It makes me furious, like by the time they wake up and realize how important it is, there may not even BE rights anymore. It’s terrifying. So yeah, we will all have to keep our fingers crossed tomorrow for sure. At this point, I feel like the US nonsense is a worldwide issue because you guys all have to put up with our garbage “president” too!

  5. This is freaking brilliant. I vote for you!

    I voted for the third party candidate in 2000, and then Bush won (see hanging chads comment above), and I have a friend who has STILL not let me live that down.

    I really want to be optimistic about tomorrow, but after 2016 I don’t have much faith left in my fellow voters. Oregon does all our voting by mail, so I voted last week.

    • AWW thank youuuu! ♥♥ Oh my goodness! But that was back when third party candidates didn’t automatically lead to The Handmaid’s Tale, so you are forgiven 😂 You know- if you think about how many other stories there are like yours and Sam’s, it really IS interesting to see how “just one vote” can make a difference!

      Also SAME. I was pessimistic in 2016 actually! My friends were all like “nah, it’s going to be FINE, the polls show her winning”, blah blah and I was over here like the voice of doom and gloom and sadly, correctness. So yeah, NO faith here either. Especially when I hear people talking about politics and they actually… agree with these pieces of trash. But alas, I will do my part! I LOVE that you all vote by mail, holy crap! That is IT, the comments section of this post has convinced me that I need OUT of Pennsylvania!

  6. Ooh this is awesome. And YES about Pike. So true- and relevant. Sometimes voting goes BAD… which is on the idiot voters *cough* and also- why didn’t Kane just, you know, “fix” the vote a bit? I wouldn’t have told either…

    And the Bookish Games! Especially since many of us were lying haha (kinda like the politicians). Who needs political ads? We can do the lying OURSELVES… also being killed for non voting seems rather extreme, but that didn’t stop the dipshit Town this time around did it???

    The Baby Sitters Club lol.

    • Aww thanks!! Seriously- Kane could have nipped that shit in the bud in a REAL hurry. I feel like Abby would have, but Kane was just being too damn pious at that point. Remember when Harper wanted to “shock lash his fascist ass and hand him to the Grounders”, And Kane was like “nah, sounds too harsh” and everyone rolled their eyes at him? And then Bellamy… did Harper’s thing but only after Pike killed all the people? Sigh. I am just saying, Harper’s thing could ummm still work. (Crap now the FBI is coming.)

      HA yes some of you WERE lying, weren’t you? 😛 (I almost did say that in the post but… it seemed a little mean to call you all politicians hahahah.) Well especially because they wanted me to vote out actual Townies! I mean, I am all for voting, but it’s like- if you told me I had to vote for someone I didn’t want to… I wouldn’t! But it worked really well for this post, so I guess I can’t complain!

      (And yeah, I umm was running out of ideas for legitimate stuff with voting, so The Baby-Sitters made the cut even though their voting was… questionable.)

  7. I loved that voting scene in Mockingjay. It showed the absolute trust that Haymitch had in Katniss. He obviously opposed another Hunger Games but he had enough faith in Katniss to go along with her vote. Brilliant.

  8. That’s such an amazing voting scene in Mockingjay – you’re like “wait, hold up, what’s happening here, Katniss?” and then BAM! Take her down! 🙂 I still need to read Thunderhead, but I love Scythe!

    But seriously, if people can vote, they need to. It’s so important this year, and I totally voted earlier today. I don’t know how much it will help where I live, but I’m doing what I can!

    -Lauren

    • YEP exactlY! I love that she uses her vote as another weapon, it is such perfection!

      Seriously, it is such a MESS. I don’t know if or how it can get better, but I really hope there’s a chance. I don’t understand half of the people in this country, I really don’t. It’s like… how can you hate just to HATE? That seems not only like a terrible thing to do, but also a tremendous waste of resources. I am glad that I don;t understand HOW they are so awful, but I do wish I knew how to stop it.

  9. This was such a clever post! I love how it was a bookish method of urging people to vote. I gotta admit that I started laughing at the Barack Obunny bit. Love the name!

    I also feel really proud of having voted, but more importantly for doing research on who I voted for. Some people I spoke to seemed to understand that voting was important, but didn’t understand that filling out random bubbles can have an effect on who gets voted into power.

    • Aww thank youuu! Hahhaha thanks, I was pretty proud of it 😂

      That is AWESOME, I am so glad that you took so much effort to really make your vote count- I know I didn’t use to do that either, I’d just vote straight Democrat and be done. In fairness, I did just do that this time too, but I researched first, and there were no special questions or anything- it just happened to be the best choice!

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