Primary school girl in voting blunder
9:04am Wednesday 12th May 2010
Meet Croydon’s youngest eligible voter - Jovita aged six.
Bungling council officials sent primary school pupil Jovita Bodamer-MacGregor polling cards after her mum included her details in error on an official form.
The cards were sent in her name for both the local and general election even though mum Karen included little Jovita’s March 2004 date of birth on the voters registration form.
It was only when Jovita, a St James the Great pupil from Woodside, Croydon, went with her parents to cast her vote at the Woodside polling station that red faced officials realised they had included a six-year-old on the electoral roll.
Mrs Bodamer-MacGregor said she was not paying much attention when she quickly filled in the voter registration form and sent it off before the deadline.
She said: “I did clearly state Jovita’s date of birth. It shows that whoever logged us in did not omit Jovita’s entry.
"I had not intended to get Jovita a voter card as knew she was far too young to cast a vote.”
Mrs Bodamer-MacGregor, who like her daughter and husband John is hearing impaired, decided to take Jovita to vote to expose the error.
She took her young daughter to the Woodside polling station where she was told by the perplexed polling staff she could not vote and had her card invalidated.
She said the mistake with Jovita shows how easy it is to get onto the voters roll.
“It is likely adults will have slipped through the net as there is no request for photo IDs to show with their poll cards, making it too easy for anyone to vote as long they look over 18-years-old, which Jovita wasn’t.”
A spokesman for Croydon Council said: “Voter registration forms are very clear in stating they should only be completed by adults if details have changed, if they have recently moved or if someone at the address is about to turn 18.
"There is no reason to include a child’s details and doing so could result in a fine.
"However, there is no possibility that a six-year-old child would be able to vote, even if they were in possession of a polling card.
“We would like to thank the Croydon Guardian for bringing this to our attention.”
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