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Wednesday, 1 November 1911


Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - One would really think, judging by the amount of heat evoked during the discussion, in respect to the provision for the abolition of postal voting, that thousands of men and women willbe disfranchised if the Bill becomes law. But everybody who has read the measure knows that little, if any, inconvenience will be caused. Rightly or wrongly, the Government believe that there will be considerable additions to the electoral rolls under this Bill. We believe that a larger percentage of votes will be recorded, and that there will be more facilities for recording votes under this Bill than exist under the present law. It is true that voting by post will not be permissible. Reasons have already been given why the Government are anxious to abolish that system. I have nodoubt that Senator Walker is actuated by a desire to do his best for the electors, but nobody who has had any experience of electoral rights can be anxious to have that system restored. Undoubtedly, they were used as they were never intended to be used.


Senator Walker - Is it not a fact that the signatures of the electors appeared on the rights?


Senator FINDLEY - Whether the rights were signed by the electors or not, improper practices were resorted to. It was known to be a common boast that, by means of the electoral rights system, certain persons could control 50 or 100 votes at any election.


Senator Walker - If my system were adopted persons could only do that by committing forgery.


Senator FINDLEY - We say that there are the strongest objections to the system of voting by post, and I believe similar evils would spring up under Senator Walker's proposal. Therefore, the Government cannot entertain the amendment.







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