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Thursday, 16 November 1911

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - May I suggest that, perhaps, the difficulty may be overcome if the Honorary Minister will give us an assurance that he will take into consideration the amendment proposed by Senator Millen, in connexion with clause 17, and then insert a provision to follow sub-clause 1, framed on the lines of that amendment. If the Bill be passed in its present form section 139 of the principal Act will read -

(1)   An elector who has reason to believe that he will not, on polling day, be within any Commonwealth polling division may, subject to the regulations, be permitted to vote at any time after the issue of the writ and before polling day, if he attends before any prescribed Commonwealth Electoral Registrar and makes a declaration in accordance with the prescribed form. ....

If that provision were followed by a paragraph to the effect that an elector, who - for conscientious reasons, based upon the fact that he is a member of one of the religious denominations which, as a greater safeguard, might be specified - could not vote on a Saturday, might do likewise, then sub-clauses 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the proposed new section" would be applicable to all such persons equally with absent voters. If the Minister will promise to take Senator Millen's amendment into consideration in connexion with clause 17, he can, when that provision is reached, move for its postponement.

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