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Wednesday, 8 November 1911

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) .- Take the case of an elector who leaves Victoria to go to Queensland, and puts in a claim to vote in that State. A good many electors will believe that that is the right course to follow. How is the Electoral Office going to deal with such a case? Is the responsible officer in Queensland to send down to Melbourne a notification that John Jones has applied to be placed on the Queensland roll, or is the name to be entered without any notification being given to the head office? There will be hun dreds of people who will be on the rolls for more than one State: Under this system I can see no way to check such occur- rences. It is a common thing in a State for ari elector who leaves one part to go to another to apply to be placed on the roll afresh. That is the way in which our rolls have become inadvertently stuffed. A man's name may be on as many as four different electoral rolls in a State. The confusion will be much greater in the case of electors moving about from one part of the Commonwealth to another. Suppose that a man who is now an elector for. Melbourne goes to Sydney, and, after spending two or three months there, removes to Queensland. His name may be on three different rolls. If at the time of; . the election he happened to be in Victoria,' he could record his vote in this State, and other persons could personate him in the other States. It is useless for the officials to tell me that the supervision is going to be such that they will be able to check such occurrences. The claim is absurd. No one who knows what can happen with a roll containing forty or fifty thousandelectors can have any doubt as to what will occur with rolls containing up to two million electors. If the Department have some means of checking the inclusion of; the same names on more than one roll, which have not yet been disclosed to the Committee, I should be glad to hear what they are. Even under the card system, a man may have, his name on a roll in three or four different States; and, so far as I can see, there will be no means of checking that. It is absurd to say that it will be sufficient to send down to the Chief Electoral Officer in Victoria and ask him to compare the names on all the rolls in the other States.

Senator Henderson - A man could vote only in one State, even if his name were oni a roll in every State.

Senator SAYERS - But some one else might vote for him in the other States. We have heard of people coming out of hollow logs and graves at election time, and I desire that some means shall be adopted to prevent that kind of thing. I do not desire that people should have their names on rolls on which they! are not entitled to be enrolled, but I de-: sire that all who are entitled to vote should be enrolled.

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