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Friday, 20 June 1902

Mr GLYNN (South Australia) - As an elector, I think I see an opportunity afforded to vote anywhere without troubling about electoral rolls. Section 41 of the Constitution states -

No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a State shall, while the right continues, be prevented by any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.

That would seem to show that so long as a man is on the electoral roll of the State he has a right to vote at any election for the Commonwealth. He need not be on the Commonwealth electoral roll, but may merely march into any polling place, and claim his right to vote. Perhaps the Attorney-General will give us his opinion of the exact meaning of this section.

Mr Deakin - The honorable member has raised an important question, and, without looking at the Constitution, I think our power in regard to the electoral laws authorizes us to impose reasonable conditions under which the right to vote is to be exercised.

Mr GLYNN - The clause speaks of the right, not to be on the roll, but to vote.

Mr Deakin - The phrase is very strong, but so are the phrases which endow us with authority to enact electoral legislation. I think any court would say that the Commonwealth Parliament is entitled to provide reasonable means against personation ; and that is really the object of the Electoral Bill.

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