An online poll asking voters to choose an “I Voted” election sticker has once again shown why internet pranksters are undefeated.
Oh, internet. After all these years, you still remain undefeated and unchallenged.
With billions of people around the world using the internet every day, it’s no surprise that businesses often turn to the online community to conduct polls and surveys.
However, the internet and its user base are often not exactly the best way to run the healthy competitions that PR and marketing teams crave.
This week, a very special poll has gone viral in America as election officials seek to choose a new design for their “I Voted” stickers; but this isn’t the first time a seemingly honest competition has been taken over by pranksters on the internet.
The ‘I voted’ election sticker poll has a special favorite
A poll in the United States has gone viral after netizens found a rather special entry and quickly placed it at the top of the ‘I voted’ sticker contest.
The Ulster County Board of Elections is currently running an online competition for a new sticker design for its ‘I Voted’ competition which will be used in the upcoming local elections. While the majority of the designs submitted are indeed aesthetically pleasing, if not a bit mundane, one sticker has certainly caught the internet’s attention.
The current 1st place design is a six-legged creature with a human head with the message “I voted”, submitted by 14-year-old Hudson Roman. Speaking via The Washington Post, Hudson said that “he didn’t expect it to take off like he did at all”, adding that the design is a “colored human head on, I guess , spider legs?”
Hilariously, the design has over 200,000 votes – that’s 22,000 more votes than the entire population of Ulster County and 93% of all votes cast in this year’s competition!
“It took me about 10 minutes to draw it. It was a quick…little sketch, and then I submitted it. And a few days later, my mom was like, ‘Hudson, your thing has like a couple thousand votes.’ And I was freaking out, because I didn’t know how it happened and how many people voted.—Hudson Roman, via The Washington Post.
John P. Quigley, the Ulster County Republican Electoral Commissioner, said “this sticker will increase voter turnout”. To which Ashley Dittus, the Democrat commissioner, replied more reluctantly: “We think it will.”
This means that, fingers crossed, voters in Ulster County will have a six-legged friend on Election Day; while Democracy and marketing teams consider this poll a victory, the Internet and Hudson are the only real winners.
The Hilarious Dangers of Online Fan Polls and Contests
Send Justin Bieber to North Korea: In 2010, as Justin Bieber rose to international stardom, Faxo set up a poll to see where his first world tour would begin.
As fans around the world quickly spammed their hometown so they could see the rising star in person, a group of pranksters on 4Chan had a different idea: send Bieber to North Korea…
Over 650,000 votes later and North Korea had won the competition by an overwhelming margin. Unfortunately, but for rather obvious reasons, the Canadian pop singer chose not to headline Pyongyang and Kim Jong Il never got the chance to sing with Baby.
New York Mets Rick Rolling: There’s arguably no internet meme song more loved (or hated) than Rick Astley’s iconic Never Gonna Give You Up.
So when the New York Mets launched an online poll asking fans to pick the new 8e theme song to the inning, it’s no surprise the internet seized the opportunity to roll the iconic Shea Stadium marketing team.
Ironically, Never Gonna Give You Up actually won the competition with over 5 million votes and was indeed played on the 8e sleeves on opening day in 2008… But “The song wasn’t well received, people booed.”
A school for the deaf almost hosted a Taylor Swift concert: When Taylor Swift’s career was on its first upward trajectory, her team held a contest to perform at an American school that won the most votes in an online poll.
Once again, Reddit and 4Chan reigned hilariously when they nearly managed to send Swift to… the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Contest sponsors quickly blocked the school from voting (officially due to ‘tampering’), but Swift showed her class again by donating $50,000 to the institution and even lined up tickets free for a few students at his next show.
Pitbull headlines a Walmart concert in Alaska: Similar to the Bieber – North Korea poll, an online contest was launched for the Pitbull superstar to perform at a special Walmart location.
The internet was in charge of choosing which Walmart would have the honor of hosting Pitbull and where did the online pranksters send him? Kodiak, Alaska… The furthest Walmart in the United States.
However, the stunt somewhat backfired on the pranksters when Pitbull went to Walmart in Alaska and reportedly turned out to be an overwhelmingly positive reception from Kodiak residents.
SOS Condoms withdraws early: No one likes flabby competition and Durex’s infamous SOS Condoms campaign certainly didn’t do well after the internet got involved.
In 2013, Durex launched a campaign in which an app called SOS Condoms would help lovers get some protection, discreetly providing contraceptives to those in need. However, the campaign decided to ask the internet where the first trial of SOS Condoms would be held and the winner…Batman.
Batman, the most voted city in the contest, is an oil-rich city in southeastern Anatolia (Turkey) with a predominantly conservative and Muslim population.
Unsurprisingly, SOS Condoms never made it to Batman, but the service was first tested in Dubai before being quickly shut down.
The Whale Mister Splashy Pants: Arguably the healthiest fan poll gone wrong is the story of Mister Splashy Pants…the humpback whale.
In 2007, the organization Greenpeace held a contest to name a humpback whale that had been tagged with tracking equipment in the South Pacific.
While the majority of the names were pretty and appropriate, it’s no surprise that Mister Splashy Pants won by a comfortable margin with 78% of the total votes.
Greenpeace would agree with the joke, with MentalFloss reporting that the organization noted how “He might have a big name, but he and his friends are still in danger.”
The new flavor of 4Chan vs Mountain Dew: The latest entry in the internet’s unbeaten streak against online competitions is the now infamous Dub the Dew, where Mountain Dew asked fans to pick the name of their new apple-flavored drink.
While favorites included Soda, Sierra Mist and Soylent Green, they were ultimately no match for the eventual winner of the contest and the new name of Mountain Dew’s apple drink…Hitler did nothing wrong.
Mountain Dew reportedly canceled the competition shortly after realizing what was happening, noting on Twitter how Dub the DEW definitely lost to the internet.
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]
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