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Wednesday, 12 October 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - The Minister has voiced the opinion that I was going to express if he had not done sp. He made perfectly clear the position of the Government. The bill contains a specific and definite provision that the hours of polling shall be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The meaning of that is that every elector must record his vote between those hours, either in person or by post. Why should an invidious distinction be drawn in favour of a particular State because it comprises a vast area ? A great deal of danger is to be apprehended from the proposal. As the Minister has pointed out, postal votes might be floating about in the post for seven days. There would be no finality. By this measure we propose to go much further with our electoral system than we have gone on any previous occasion. I appreciate the fact that this is a move to convenience those people who are absent from their electorates on polling day and may even be returning to Australia from overseas. The postal vote need not necessarily be forwarded to the divisional returning officer for the division in which the elector is enrolled ; it may be returned to the divisional returning officer nearest to the place in which the elector happens to be. Under those conditions the divisional returning officer for the division concerned might not receive it forfour or five days.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - He might not receive it for ten days.

Senator FINDLEY - I have no objection to the proposal that it shall reach a divisional returning officer before the close of the poll, but I strongly object to the amendment suggested by Senator Thompson.

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