Voting is at the heart of Mafia.
How does it work? Well, each player can cast a vote on some other player, votes are tallied, and at the end of the day a lynched person is decided. Usually it's the person with the most votes (plurality); the host will specify in the beginning of the game. They also need to specify what happens in the event of a tie (tie lynch rules). Remember, you are voting to CONDEMN someone (eliminate from the game).
Traditional Forum Mafia use either:
- in-thread live polls: (with moderator help) You would cast your vote each day on who needs to be lynched in the thread's live poll. At each new day, a new topic would be made with a new poll and the mods would merge it into the thread for the new session of voting & discussing. However, this isn't the easiest to read and understand quickly, and once you voted... you couldn't take it back or change your vote.
- host-tallied voting: Each player posts with "vote X;" (usually with another color or using a highlight), and the host is responsible for tallying the votes and post results from time to time (so that everyone knows the votes tallied so far). This systems allows removing a vote ("Unvote;") or changing your vote ("Unvote; Vote Y"), but keeping the tally is very difficult without the host. And it strains a host as it gives more things to do (such as frequently updating the tally after people discuss and more pages spawn from that discussion)
Den Mafia has a different system, invented by Unreality, called roster-based voting system. The initial roster is composed of the players that signed up.
Host: name 1) PlayerName 2) AnotherPlayerName 3) YetAnotherPlayerName 4) etc
To vote, one quotes (using the Reply/Quote button) the latest (current) roster from the post of the previous player that voted, removes the quotes and adds his own vote, using a special color for the target of his/her vote. Example:
Host: name 1) PlayerName 2) AnotherPlayerName - voting for PlayerName 3) YetAnotherPlayerName 4) etc
If you are the first to vote for them in the day, make up a new color (different enough from all colors currently displayed on the roster i.e. don't use red if the host uses red for baddies). If someone else has already voted for the person in question, use the exact same color!! For example, after two more votes
Host: name 1) PlayerName - voting for YetAnotherPlayerName 2) AnotherPlayerName - voting for PlayerName 3) YetAnotherPlayerName - voting for PlayerName 4) etc
This makes it very easy to assess the situation! Host is only needed to correct the roster from time to time (this only happens if two people post the exact same time), but usually players "guard" the roster and can correct it themselves. And players that come checking the thread can see in a glance how the status is now AND can go back and see how the balance of voting shifted all the way to the current voting roster.
The only way that the day can officially end earlier is if someone pleads no contest. This is basically saying "okay, you got me, I'm guilty, I'm a bad guy, lynch me already". To do this, the votes have to be overwhelmingly in favor of lynching said person suspected of being a baddie. If someone pleads no contest, the host will probably make the day post as soon as they can.