Voter fraud, bot attacks come to Nickelodeon's kids vote thanks to 4chan users.

By James Hibberd
October 28, 2020 at 11:44 AM EDT
Credit: Nickelodeon

Voter fraud. Ballot box stuffing. An attack by bots.

Nickelodeon's Kids Pick the President vote got pretty intense this year.

The perennial election-year stunt by the cable network that lets its young audience select who they think should be president of the United States was marred by a cheating scandal when apparent grown-ups decided to try and flood the results with votes for Donald Trump.

Nickelodeon detected cheating after spotting that users on 4chan discussed corrupting the Kids Pick the President site with fraudulent votes for Trump.

"It would be funny to have it seem like kids picked Trump when Nick literally airs BLM propaganda," one 4chan user wrote. "I have created an auto hotkey bot that will submit endless Trump votes, thus ensuring that Twitter has a meltdown that kids chose Trump!" another bragged.

Subsequently, more than 130,000 bot-generated votes were detected by the network.

It's the first time in Nickelodeon's history there has been a large and coordinated attempt of voter fraud during the children's poll, the network confirmed.

Nick "used a voter certification tool to identify these votes and to remove them, ensuring that only individually placed votes counted toward the total," the channel said in a statement.

“Though kids are not of an age to vote, Kids Pick the President is a platform where their voices do count, and they deserve to be heard," Nickelodeon said in a statement. "And just as kids value honesty and fairness, so do we at Nickelodeon. Therefore, out of respect for kids everywhere and in the spirit of civic responsibility, we present the name of the winner based on votes cast fairly and within our stated guidelines of one vote counted per household device.”

Ultimately, 90,000 (presumably) valid votes were included in the poll. Joe Biden won with 53 percent of the vote compared to Donald Trump with 47 percent of the vote.

Nick's contest has been held since 1988 and has correctly picked the president in six out of the last eight elections. In 2016, kids picked Hillary Clinton, but, then again, Clinton also won the popular vote. Nickelodeon doesn't clutter up their poll with an electoral college — probably because explaining to kids that if they live in California they get to cast one vote for the president while kids living in Wyoming get to effectively cast 57 votes would strike them as a rather confusing and unfair way to hold an election (ahem).

Nick aired its Kids Pick the President results special on Wednesday night.

The actual presidential election is on Nov. 3 and we're sure that will go perfectly fine.

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