The number of ballots spoiled at the Russian presidential elections last weekend decreased by 200,000 from the parliamentary vote in December, but ironic creativity bloomed, with Chuck Norris and a Supercat being among the write-ins.
Less than 800,000 ballots, or about 1 percent of the total count, were declared spoiled at the elections on Sunday, head of the Central Elections Commission, Vladimir Churov said at a press conference.
The figure was 1.03 million in December elections, which were carried by United Russia, the party of the new president-elect Vladimir Putin, Churov said on Monday.
Russian legislation does not allow write-ins, and the “against everyone” option was removed from the ballots after starting to rise fast in popularity in the 2000s.
But that does not stop some voters displeased with the political menu from venting their frustration through oddball inscriptions on the ballots.
In separate instances in Moscow and Udmurtia, voters named martial arts and film star Chuck Norris as their preferred candidate. In Moscow, however, the vote went to Putin because the inscription, which read “Chuck Norris is a cool guy,” was placed next to Putin’s name, writer Leonid Kaganov, who worked as a vote monitor, said on his blog.
A voter in western Moscow glued a photo of kung-fu fighter and actor Jackie Chan to the ballot with the inscription, “my president,” RBC Daily news website reported.
Elsewhere in the capital, a ballot was discarded for being adorned with a picture of a cat in a Superman’s costume with the letter “K” on its chest instead of “S,” the report said.
The majority of spoiled ballots just had boxes for all five candidates ticked. In many cases, the spoiling was done through scribbling profanity on the ballots.
The prank is not as harmless as it may seem: in December, two senior editors of the prominent Kommersant publishing house lost their jobs after running a photo of the ballot for the parliamentary vote adorned with a slur aimed at Putin.
Some inscriptions at the Sunday vote, however, were within the realm of decent, if not less emotional for that.
“There are no worthy candidates! Vote chaos!” wrote the Perm-based blogger identified as Paperdaemon Chaognostic, who posted the photo of the ballot on his blog.
However, not everyone was in a belligerent mood. “Lisena for you,” one voter, apparently a female, wrote on the ballot next to the name of Mikhail Prokhorov, a suave 46-year-old tycoon who was the only single man among the five candidates, Pro-goroda.ru reported.
Sadly for Lisena, she did not tick the box for Prokhorov, and her vote was added to the discard pile.