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Toby the jack russell terrier signed up on the electoral roll with his paw print and received a voter's card for the general election, his owner says.

Peter Rhodes, who filled in the form as a joke, says the successful enrolment highlights the need for more careful scrutiny.

But the Electoral Enrolment Centre is not amused and says it will ask the police to take action - and it has now questioned some elements of Mr Rhodes' story.

When Mr Rhodes, an aviation safety specialist, received his electoral roll confirmation forms this year an extra form was supplied for people who had been "inadvertently overlooked". At the time, he was frustrated with the Queenstown Lakes District Council's regulatory contractor, CivicCorp, and with the "bureaucratic nonsense" he had to deal with while trying to subdivide his property.

"So I thought, for the hell of it, I'd put Toby's name on it, and sign it, and see what happens."

Mr Rhodes says he gave his dog the full name of Toby Russel Rhodes, occupation: rodent exterminator, and signed a squiggle, accompanied by a paw print, for a signature. He gave Toby the birth date of July 4, 1977 - his age in "human years" (his real age is four years). He expected Toby's application to be rejected.

To his surprise, Mr Rhodes received a letter in the mail, addressed to Toby, saying he had been registered in the Otago electorate and was able to vote.

There was one change on the confirmation letter: "The computer obviously couldn't handle his occupation of rodent exterminator, so they changed it to 'hunter'."

"I was amazed, and really, the concern is, who else is on there that shouldn't be?

"I'm certainly not trying to rock the boat. I'm just amazed that it happened. I would rather the Electoral Enrolment Centre said, 'Crikey, we have a problem here, let's fix it', than having a problem with me.

"I'm probably as concerned as they are, that the roll is obviously not as accurate as it ought to be."

Mr Rhodes said he did not use Toby's vote on election day, nor did Toby make an appearance at the polling booths.

"The only roll he's interested in is a dog roll, not the electoral roll ... It's not tasty enough."

Electoral Enrolment Centre national manager Murray Wicks said today that he had now seen the enrolment form submitted for the dog and some of the claims made about it by Mr Rhodes were incorrect.

"The enrolment form -- I've had a look at it -- does not include a dog's paw. And the occupation I think he stated was 'rodent exterminator' or something like that, but it's not, it says 'hunter'. So I think he's got a lot of untruths."

Mr Wicks said the matter had now been handed over to Cromwell police.Asked yesterday how a dog could get through the system, Mr Wicks said: "By its owner telling a whole lot of lies."

Mr Wicks believes Mr Rhodes committed a number of offences, including misleading a registrar of electors, making a fraudulent enrolment, making a false declaration, "to name a few that come to mind".

"It's a statutory declaration ... You have to tell the truth when enrolling."

Mr Wicks earlier said he had not seen Toby's paw print stamped on the application, but it was common for people to sign the form with a mark, he said.

The centre ran checks to ensure everyone on the roll was legitimate.

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES, NZPA