In a game of Secret Hitler with an even number of players, what is the result of the election if exactly 50% of the players vote "Ja!"?

Does the government get to pass a policy, or does it count as a failed government?

2 Answers 2


The Kickstarter page says the following (emphasis mine):

Each round, the President selects a Chancellor. The whole table votes "Ja!" or "Nein!" on their ticket; if a majority of players vote “Ja!,” the elected President and Chancellor take the following actions to pass a new policy:

Since 50% is not a majority, the election failed.

  • 1
    That is precisely the wording that confused me - not being a native English speaker, I was not sure what it meant I case of a tie. Also, I just read the rules (for backers) and they spell out explicitly that, in case of a tie, the government does not get elected. Thank you. Dec 5, 2015 at 6:39
  • @JeanHominal Sorry for the short answer then. 'Majority' basically means 'more than half'.
    – freekvd
    Dec 5, 2015 at 6:49
  • The answer is absolutely fine! Had I wanted more in that language vein, I would have asked on ell.stackexchange.com :) Dec 5, 2015 at 6:53

Wikipedia tells us that a majority is "A majority is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements". It is better to go by the rules rather the Kickstarter page. Unfortunately, the rules are contradictory. As noted by Kthaeh:

"The back of the President placard says at least 50% of the players have to vote for a proposed government in order to get them elected. The printed rules say more than 50% of the players have to vote for the government to get them elected."

However, there are four reasons to resolve this contradiction in favour of the rule that a government needs more than half.

  1. Firstly, the rules also say "If the vote is a tie, or if most players vote nein!, the Presidency placard moves clockwise". Since this is the only place in the rules that explicitly considers a tie, this carries the most weight.
  2. Secondly, the very end of the strategy guide in the rules states that "The Fascists can win ... by rejecting Candidates until the board fills with fascist policies.". This suggests that the intended play style makes it easy-ish to reject candidates. Although ambiguous this is perhaps the most important reason, as the rules should serve the game rather the the other way round.
  3. Thirdly, Kthaeh notes that similar games such as Avalon and Resistance require more than half, so by principle of least surprise, we should be more inclined not to have a different voting rule in this game.
  4. Finally, as noted by freevkd, the Kickstarter page says a majority, and we could at least give the Kickstarter page a tie-breaking vote between the rules and the President's placard.

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