Thousands of US voters spoil papers by writing ‘Harambe’

At least 11,000 ballot papers were ruined with the word 'Harambe' (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
At least 11,000 ballot papers were ruined with the word 'Harambe' (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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At least 11,000 ballot papers in the American presidential election were spoiled due to voters writing “Harambe” as the choice in the write-in candidate section.

However, other estimates put the figure at closer to 14,000 spoiled votes as Donald Trump gained a shock win in the race for the Whitehouse.

Harambe is the name of a dead Western Lowland Gorilla shot and killed at Cincinnati Zoo in May after grabbing and dragging a three-year-old boy who fell into his enclosure.

The incident has since become a viral sensation with thousands of memes created by online commenters, many of whom were protesting what they believed to be an “unlawful” killing.

Cincinnati Zoo officials were forced to shut down the zoo’s Twitter account in August after being targeted by trolls.

In July democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling, included Harambe in early election polls, at one point putting support for the dead gorilla at five-per-cent, ahead of green party candidate Jill Stein, before falling level with Stein in August at two-per-cent.