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14,000 People Probably Didn't Vote For Harambe To Be The Next US President

The write-in process is a lot more complicated than you think.

Posted on November 9, 2016, at 4:13 a.m. ET

Photos are circulating on social media of people voting for Harambe, the gorilla who was shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo in May, as a write-in.

Twitter: @Mexicanabanana

Also, posting a photo of your ballot is a federal crime punishable by up to one year in prison.

There are now reports circulating that more than 14,000 people voted for Harambe as the next president of the United States.

People were furious.

A lot of people felt that the votes for Harambe had gone to waste and could have impacted the results of the election.

America: "we must not let Trump become president!!!" Also America:

Some, however, couldn't resist the urge to make jokes.

The 11,000 number appears to have been made popular through this tweet, which was retweeted more than 58,000 times.

Twitter: @JayJazzi

The user, 24-year-old Jeffrey Otingo from New Brunswick, Canada, told BuzzFeed News that he was streaming the elections online and saw that a few people mentioned the 11,000 figure.

"Apparently they had heard it on TV," Otingo said.

An Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account later tweeted a "report" that Harambe received more than 14,000 votes.

However, voting for a write-in candidate is a lot more complicated than simply writing down a name on the ballot.

First, write-ins are only allowed in some states.

Twitter: @TheHolyKuran

According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, they are prohibited in Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

Furthermore, in most states that allow write-ins, candidates are required to file paperwork months ahead of the election in order to have their votes tallied.

Votes for candidates who did not file will be lumped together into a single "other" category.

Twitter: @TheHolyKuran

There is no way Harambe, a dead gorilla, could have registered as a write-in candidate in states that allow for write-ins ahead of the election.

This means that all votes for Harambe in these states would be lumped into the "other" category, along with votes for people and inanimate objects that did not register, such as Hennessy.

In conclusion, while people probably voted for a dead gorilla to be the next president of the United States, there is no way to know exactly how many votes Harambe garnered.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.