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Thursday, 13 October 1927


Senator THOMPSON (Queensland) . - I am sorry that the Government has backed down in this matter, because it was only after very careful investigatons that the committee's recommendation, which was strongly supported by the evidence, was made. The committee carefully inquired into the disabilities likely to be experienced by the Jews, Seventh Day Adven tists, and the members of other religious bodies, and found that the objections were not sufficient to justify the retention of the present hour of closing the poll. I feel it my duty to support the recommendation of the committee, which was made on substantial grounds and after consideration of the customs in other States; but in view of the division just taken I feel that it is hardly worth while pressing the point.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 14 to 19 agreed to.

Clause 20-

Section one hundred and thirty-six a of the principal act is amended -

(a)   by omitting the words " absent voters' "ballot-papers (first occurring), and inserting in their stead the words " ballot-papers issued at some remote polling place in connexion with the election " ;

(b)   by omitting from paragraph (c) the words "sub-section (3) of section one hundred and fifteen " ; and

(c)   by omitting the words "absent voters'" (last occurring).

Section proposed to be amended -136a. Where the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for a State in the case of a Senate election, or the divisional returning officer in the case of aHouse of Representatives election, is satisfied that the votes' . . .

(b)   on. any ballot-papers used for voting in pursuance of section onehundred and twenty-one of this act, andin relation to which the divisional returning officerhas not completed the action specified by subsection (5) of that section . . . cannot having regard to the number of those ballot-papers, possibly affect the result of the election, the Commonwealth Electoal Officer in the ease of a Senate election, or the divisional returning officer in the case of a House of Representatives election, may, subject to the concurrence of the Chief Electoral Officer, proceed with the scrutiny without awaiting the receipt of the absent voters' ballot-papers or completing the action, as the case may be.

Amendments (by Senator Sir William Glasgow) agreed to -

That the word "and," second occurring, in paragraph (b) be left out.

That after paragraph (c) the following be added: - " and

(d)   by inserting after paragraph (c) the following paragraph : - ' or on any postal ballot-papers posted or delivered to any divisional returning officer in pursuance of sub-section

(2)   of section ninety-two of this act.' "

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 21-

Section one hundred and forty-one of the principal act is amended -

(a)   by omitting the words "absent voters " ( wherever occurring ) ; and

(b)   by omitting from paragraph (b) of sub-section (2) the words "subsection (3) of section one hundred and fifteen."

Section proposed to be amended -141. (2) Where theCommonwealth Electoral Officer for the State -

(a)   Has been advised by a divisional returning officer that certain absent voters' ballot-papers, issued at some remote polling place in connexion with the election, cannot reach him for the purpose of the scrutiny without unduly delaying the declaration of the poll; or

(b)   has been advised by a divisional returning officer that he cannot complete his inquiries into the facts set out in the declarations of certain persoiis to whom ballot-papers wereissuedunder the provisions of section ninetyone a, subjection (3), of section one hundred and fifteen, section one hundred and twenty - one, or section one hundred and twenty-one a of this act, without unduly delaying the declaration of the poll ... he may, subject to the concurrence of the Chief Electoral Officer, declare the result of the election and return the writ without awaiting the receipt of the absent voters' ballot-papers or the completion of inquiries, as thecase may be.







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