Campaign hieroglyphics: The everyday symbols of Egyptian voting

Because an estimated 40 per cent of Egyptians cannot read or write, the country has come up with a unique way - household and other symbols - for distinguishing candidates in the ballot booth.

Egypt's move to democracy may be captivating millions — certainly many Egyptians lined up for hours to vote.

But it also presents challenges. Two out of five Egyptians cannot read or write. So how do they vote for a candidate whose written name on the ballot has no meaning for them?

How exactly, in the polling booth, do they distinguish between the more than 1,200 candidates seeking office?

To solve the problem, the country has come up with its own system of symbols — one for each candidate — to mark the choices.

But with so many choices, election signs can start to look like a catalogue of household goods.

Who to vote for? Mr. Stove or Ms. Toothbrush …?