If Newt Gingrich were a toaster and Barack Obama were a frying pan, who would you vote for?
Similar questions are plaguing voters today in Egypt, where illiterate voters are choosing between chandeliers and tennis racquets for congress.
Inanimate objects like guitars, blenders, ovens and even guns are paired with candidates so that illiterate voters can recognize the candidates at the polls. Why not just use photographs of the candidates?
The symbols raise questions of fairness. Do the objects with certain connotations persuade you to vote one way or another? Would you be more likely to vote for Chris Christie if he were a treadmill or a balloon?
According to the Guardian, the use of election symbols dates back to the 1950s in Egypt, where today, eager voters are lining up to participate in what they call a ”historic moment.” The supreme elections commission chooses the objects and randomly assigns them to candidates. Other countries that use the symbol method include Liberia, Sudan and India.