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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2621

Mr CADMAN(6.16) —I endorse the comments of the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) about the confusion that can be caused in regard to the change in subdivisional boundaries and the difficulties electors from one geographical area might have in finding their polling booths even though the relevant information may have been mailed by the Returning Officer. However, in the process of applying for an absentee vote the signature from the person making the application is required and the signature of the Returning Officer is required on the envelope. The Returning Officer is required to indicate that the process has been properly gone through and he has identified the voter. Whereas under these provisions where the voting is at large within a division in my view it opens up the prospect of individuals voting in a number of sub divisions without any chance of it being checked. The honourable member for Prospect is saying to me that, after the papers and the rolls are returned and it has been found that there have been multiple markings off, an allowance is made for that process. I put it to him: If there is any large scale use of multiple voting this will become an impossible administrative task, one in which the returning officers will not be able to assess whether the voting was done by the individuals whose names have been ruled off, or by other individuals voting in other subdivisions on their behalf.

The honourable member for Gwydir (Mr Hunt) would know that the distances involved in country areas would perhaps preclude this process taking place. But in small city electorates where movements between subdivisions can be undertaken very quickly-

Dr Klugman —But you can do that in four or five booths in the one subdivision, and it just does not happen.

Mr CADMAN —That process certainly can take place at four or five booths in the same sub-division. I go back to what I said previously: The protection now offered for those who vote outside their subdivisions is sound. I believe that the proposition put forward by the honourable member for Boothby (Mr Steele Hall ), representing the Opposition, is a sound one.