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Friday, 7 October 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - In this matter of the postal voting provisions, I am not speaking on behalf of the Labour party. I am voicing my own opinion. The Commonwealth electoral officers are a very fine, industrious and energetic body of men; but, despite all their vigilance and diligence, the secrecy of the ballotbox is violated by the postal vote. While there may be cases of hardship if the postal vote is abolished - it was not permitted for several years - it is better to have that rather than, to have the secrecy of the ballot-box violated. Even if the proposed amendment is defeated, i'; will not abolish the postal vote. All that the clause seeks to do is to ' extend the facilities for giving a postal vote by reducing the distance from the polling booth from ten to five miles. I realize that I cannot succeed in abolishing the postal vote, but I do not wish to assist in extending the system. For that reason I shall vote against the clause.

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