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  American HistorySouth AmericaBrazilHistory

On October 7, 1959, 100,000 voters in São Paulo showed their displeasure with all 540 candidates for the 45-seat city council by casting their ballots for a rhinoceros.

Cacareco (whose name means "garbage" or "rubbish") was a popular attraction at the local zoo when she was "drafted" by a group of students who were fed up with rampant government corruption. According to the election laws in effect at the time, voting was conducted by putting a ballot in an envelope and returning it to the election authority. The students printed up 200,000 ballots with Cacareco’s name on them and distributed them to the electorate. About half of those ballots were returned, giving Cacareco a plurality. Cacareco never got a chance to serve her "constituents," as election officials nullified all votes for her and ordered a re-vote. She lived out her days at the zoo, dying there in 1962.

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This page was last updated on July 01, 2016.

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