New Zealand has discovered evidence of voter fraud in an important election – its annual ‘Bird of the Year’ campaign. Forest and Bird – the environmental conservation organisation that handles the election – discovered 1,500 fraudulent votes in the election campaign, exposing the dirty side of avian democracy. Ultimately, the kakapo – a fat, flightless parrot – emerged victorious in the election tainted by voter fraud. According to a statement from Forest and Bird, illegitimate votes briefly pushed the Kiwi bird to the top, but were removed after being discovered. The votes were cast on the morning of Wednesday 18th of November, using fake email addresses that were traced back to the same IP address.
“It’s lucky we spotted this little kiwi trying to sneak in an extra 1,500 votes under the cover of darkness!” says Laura Keown, spokesperson for Bird of the Year. “But they’ll have to play by the rules like all of the other birds to win the competition.” The kakapo has made history as the only bird to win the competition twice.
officially the world’s heaviest parrot, the kakapo is a flightless and nocturnal bird endemic to New Zealand. This year, it swooped in in “from behind to claw the title of #Bird- OfTheYear 2020 away from competition front-runner – the toroa/Antipodean albatross”, Forest and Bird said. More than 55,000 people voted in the competition, which aims to promote the country’s native birds and highlight the issues threatening their population. Bird of the Year competition started in 2005 and has frequently turned heated, with celebrities and politicians endorsing their favourite birds.