The Bird of the Year election appears to have been tampered with in New Zealand. Organizers say that fraudulent votes were cast as many as 1,500 times to help the little gray kiwi win.
These votes were cast via email addresses that are all linked to the same IP address. A spokesman says he does not think a foreign power has tried to influence the elections.
“If you really love the little gray kiwi, then campaign for it,” said the organization behind the competition. “We don’t want to see cheating anymore.”
The leader of the campaign for the bird stressed, according to the newspaper NZ Herald disapprove the casting of illegal votes.
The election has been organized for fifteen years. New Zealanders get to vote for their favorite birds every year.
Politicians and all kinds of organizations also speak out publicly for their favorite candidate. Sex shop Adult Toy Megastore, for example, supports the yellow-belt honeyeater, because it is said to practice “polyamory by mutual consent”.
This year a total of about 35,000 votes were cast.