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Wednesday, 3 May 1961


Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (2:49 AM) . - I now formally move -

That the following new cause be inserted in the bill:- " 11c. After section one hundred and two of the Principal Act the following section is inserted: - 102a. - (1.) Where a polling place has been appointed in any convalescent home, hospital or similar institution, the Divisional Returning Officer shall provide at least two polling booths therein. (2.) One or more of such booths designated by the Divisional Returning Officer shall be used as a mobile booth for the purpose of affording an opportunity to vote to every elector who -

(a)   is for the time being resident in the home, hospital or institution in which the booth is situated; and

(b)   by reason of illness or infirmity, or, in the case of a woman, by reason of approaching maternity, is unable to attend at the polling place to record his vote; and

(c)   has, by message to the presiding officer in charge of the polling place, requested him to afford the elector an opportunity to record his vote at such mobile booth.

Every person to whom any such message is given for delivery to the presiding officer, shall, unless otherwise ordered by a legally qualified medical practitioner, deliver such message forthwith to the presiding officer in charge of the polling place.

Any person contravening this sub-section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds. (3.) Where any such message has been received by the presiding officer in charge of .the polling place he shall direct the assistant presiding officer in charge of a mobile booth to afford the elector an opportunity to record his vote by visiting the elector at some time before the close of the poll. On any such visit the assistant presiding officer shall take with him the ballot-box provided for the booth and shall be accompanied by his poll clerk and such of the scrutineers appointed in respect of the booth as choose to accompany him.

On any such visit to an elector the elector's vote shall so far as it is reasonably practicable be taken in all respects as if the vote were recorded in a polling booth under usual conditions.

No visit shall be made under this section if such visit is forbidden by a legally qualified medical practitioner.'.".

This proposed new clause is in accordance with the practice in Queensland and New South Wales which has secured universal acceptance since its introduction in those two States.







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