As preliminary results from the Egyptian presidential elections began to roll in Wednesday, it was clear that former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had won in a landslide. But second place didn't go to his opponent Hamdeen Sabahi. It went to an unexpected name: the spoiled ballot.
According to preliminary results, Sisi won more than 92 percent of the votes, while Sabahi won about 3 percent. The invalid ballots, or those that were spoiled, were about 4 percent of all the votes.
A database created by Egyptian academics and researchers shows that there were 1,080,669 spoiled ballots cast in the election. Egyptians, many of them young, tweeted out pictures of their ballots.
â€” Mashrou3Leila Holics (@LeilaHolics) May 27, 2014
— Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_) May 29, 2014
Some had written politically charged messages, while others simply crossed out the candidates’ names and wrote down other names, including celebrities like actress Emma Watson and television characters including Arya Stark from "Game of Thrones."
The election, which had about a 47 percent voter turnout, lasted for three days. Voting was originally scheduled to end Tuesday, but officials announced at the last minute they would extend it for a third day, encouraging more Egyptians to head to the polls and cast their ballots. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said Tuesday that those who were eligible to vote but refused could be fined.
Official results from the election will be announced June 3.