As you scrolled through your social media feeds Tuesday night searching for election results, something striking popped up (beyond Hillary Clinton losing Pennsylvania).
It was tweets and Facebook posts shared by your more liberal friends. They were trying to make sense of Clinton’s impending loss and found the perfect scapegoat — a dead gorilla.
Stories of Harambe nabbing thousands of votes during the presidential election have surged through social media since Election Day.
Harambe, if you’ve somehow forgotten, was the 450-pound gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed by zoo personnel after a 3-year-old boy fell into its exhibit back in May.
The controversy over Harambe’s killing has turned the silverback gorilla into something of a beloved figure for some, with hundreds of online memes dedicated to the animal’s memory.
But stories that Harambe got anywhere from 11,000 to 15,000 votes on Election Day are FLAT OUT FALSE. Yes, there were pranksters out there who wrote in Harambe’s name on their ballot.
But there’s no way we’d know by Tuesday night exactly how many people did. That’s because ballots with write-in candidates are often treated like provisional or absentee ballots and counted after ALL of the others.
Also in most states you just can’t walk in and write a name on a ballot anyway.
In 34 states paperwork, the write-in candidate must file paperwork before the election for that vote to count.
Nine states don’t allow write-ins at all.
So that leaves just seven states where voters could write Harambe’s name.
(For context, write-in votes accounted for 0.11% of the vote in 2012.)
Also, Harambe wouldn’t be constitutionally eligible anyway. You have to be 35 to be president!