HomeFeatured BlogsEgypt Elections: A Message in Spoiled Ballots

Egypt Elections: A Message in Spoiled Ballots

Egypt’s apparent low voter turnout in presidential elections could be driven by millions boycotting the process because of objections to the two candidates or simply by apathy to yet another ballot during a tumultuous three years.

But wedged in between the boycotters and enthusiastic voters is a group that is carrying on the tradition of spoiling their ballots, often with poignant or whimsical messages to the state. Here’s a catalogue of some “ruined” ballots that have been shared on social media.

Social Media

This voter headlines the ballot with the demand “Down with the protest law” in a reference to legislation hurriedly passed last year that criminalized street protests without approval from the state. The draconian law has resulted in hundreds of people, including prominent secular minded activists, being given stiff jail terms for holding rallies deemed illegal. In the box to choose former military chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the voter wrote “Freedom for Mahinour” in an apparent reference to Mahinour El Masry, a rights activist who was arrested last week for allegedly protesting illegally. In the box to choose Hamdeen Sabahi, a veteran leftist politician, the voter wrote “Freedom for the brave.”

Social Media

This voter must be a Harry Potter fan – writing “The Egyptian people offer their sincere congratulations to the actress Emma Watson for obtaining her Master’s degree.” A nice sentiment, but the British actor actually recently got her bachelor’s degree from Brown University in the United States.

Social Media

Another popular culture reference. This voter cast his or her ballot for Arya Stark, of Game of Thrones fame, using her trademark sword “Needle” as the symbol of her candidacy.

Social Media

The first in a series of recent Champions League winners Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer titans, related ballots. This vote is for Real defender, Sergio Ramos, #oursavior.

Social Media

Real Madrid president and Spanish business tycoon, Florentino Perez, beats out both Egyptian candidates on this ballot.

Social Media

“Ronaldo for Egypt’s presidency” in an apparent reference to Real Madrid and Portugal superstar winger/forward Christiano Ronaldo.

Social Media

Finally, this one imagines a taunting conversation between Mr. Sisi and Mr. Sabahi, using a lyric from the ubiquitous (and maddening) unofficial anthem of the pro-Sisi crowd, Boshret Kheir, or Good Omen, as the punch line.

Sisi: “Get up Hamdeen”

Sabahi: “Get up and go where?”

Sisi, quoting the lyric: “go call the Saidi and his brother the Port Saidi.”

Yes, it loses something in the translation.

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(via WSJ Blogs)

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