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It's vote early, vote often for toddler in polling mix-up

REGISTERED voter Daisy Hooper has never heard of Micheal Martin, Enda Kenny or Eamon Gilmore.

She's equally in the dark about John Gormley and Gerry Adams. In fact, she couldn't care less about any of them and prefers to spend her time playing with dolls.

But the fact she's only two didn't stop the chief returning officer from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council from issuing her a voter's card this week.

Her mother, former journalist Niamh Hooper (41), said she was stunned when she checked her post yesterday morning and found polling cards issued to herself and her baby daughter, who won't be eligible to vote until 2027.

"She's not even two-and-a-half yet," she said. "What's next? Is she going to be charged taxes?"

Ms Hooper, who lives alone in Sandycove, South Dublin, said she is baffled as to how her daughter's name got on the electoral register.

"It's a complete mystery to me," she said.

Ms Hooper insists no one came to her door canvassing information to include her on the register and she didn't fill out any forms.

But a spokeswoman for the council last night insisted it wasn't responsible for the error.

She claimed the only way that a voter's name would be included on the list is if the householder confirms the names of eligible voters to canvassers or fills out a form confirming their names and birthdates.

The spokeswoman also suggested it was highly unlikely a canvasser got the names without verifying their eligibility to vote.

"All the people recruited to fill out the forms know that people have to be over 18," she said.

But come Friday, Ms Hooper said she fully intends to bring Daisy down to her local polling station where the little girl will proudly present her voter's card before heading home to host a tea party at her dollhouse.

Irish Independent