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More On Egypt's 'Nullified Ballots' Campaign

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, June 25 2012

An Egyptian voter nullified his ballot by sketching Batman in the square next to each candidate's photo (Photo: @wessam_s)

Tens of thousands celebrated at Tahrir Square on Sunday afternoon, as the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was declared the victor in Egypt's presidential elections. Morsi made history by becoming Egypt's first elected civilian president - and the first Islamist elected head of an Arab state.

In the clip below, shot just as election results were announced, the camera seems to vibrate as the crowd roars its approval.

For many of Egypt's young revolutionaries, this was a bittersweet moment. While they were united in opposing both candidates - the Islamist Mohamed Morsi and the Mubarak regime holdover Ahmed Shafik - there were some who said they preferred Morsi because he was a civilian. Leftist activist Gigi Ibrahim (@gsquare86) tweeted: "The truth is that if SCAF could've rigged elections for Shafiq & gotta away with it, they would've. The fact that they didn't is a win 4 rev."

For other revolutionary activists, however, neither candidate was acceptable. To express their dissent, they organized a Mubtellon ('nullify') Campaign . Participants nullified their ballots with slogans and doodling images on their ballots, photographed them and published the photos on Twitter and Facebook. According to official estimates, more than 800,000 ballots were nullified in this manner.

Egyptian activist journalist Menna Alaa (@theMiinz) wrote
about the campaign and posted photos of a few nullified ballots on the Egypt Independent's Live Blog:

The yellow sticker on the ballot says "void." (Photo: Amira Salah-Ahmed)

Activist Wessam Sherif doodled Batman outlines next to each candidates' name (Photo: Wessam Sherif)

"I want Hayatam (a famous Egyptian belly dancer). (photo: @Shaheeeer)

"No offense, but the truth hurts." (photo: Youssra Selim/@YoussraSelim)

Egyptian activist Mahmoud Salem (@sandmonkey) told CNN that he had nullified his ballot not only as an expression of protest, but also to prevent his ballot from being sold. Salem claimed that there was widespread, unreported ballot tampering, with many sold for 4 Egyptian pounds, or about 50 US cents.