Monday 24 July 2017

Panic stations after child hides key of referendum ballot box... in the ballot box

Count staff sort out the ballot papers in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Presidential Age Referendum in the RDS Simmonscourt. Pic Frank Mc Grath

Mairead O'Shea

They say never work with children on television... now the same could be true for referendum count centres.

One box in South Roscommon proved to be a problem for the tally counters this morning as the key for the lock went missing.

A search ensued at the Hyde Centre for the key for the box, which contained votes from the Rahara area of the county.

It was soon realised a child at one of the polling booths had taken a shine to the key and popped it inside the box.

Returning officer Mary Raftery recruited two male counters to cut the lock off the box.

The counters armed themselves with a lock cutter and the box was promptly opened much to the amusement of those at the centre.

Meanwhile, another young person in Dublin South-West made sure they had their say.

A tally counter in the centre removed a piece of paper from the box which read: "I vote yes, Carey, Aged 9".

Stephanie Fleming posted the photo online, writing: "Oh my god, dying. Found in a #dubsw ballot box. #MarRef."

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