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Wednesday, 24 September 1902

Mr CROUCH (Corio) - Neither the amendment of the honorable member for Bland nor that of the honorable and learned member for South Australia, Mr. Glynn, meets the objection which I have to this Bill. At the present time the measure provides that, in the case of elections for the House of Representatives, any elector shall have the right to vote at any polling booth within his division. That is a concession which I am unwilling to give up. If I accurately interpret the feeling of the committee, I scarcely think that the honorable member for Bland will be able to carry his amendment. The Senate holds that a division is an electoral area for this House only. Let us make it compulsory that an elector shall be allowed to vote at any polling place within his division, but make the granting of that facility optional at the will of the Executive for the whole of the State in the case of elections for the Senate and this House, and if the honorable member for Bland will withdraw his amendment, I will move accordingly.

Mr Watson - I am agreeable to do that.

Mr. McCAY(Corinella). - I would point out that the amendment proposed by the honorable and learned member for South Australia will have the effect of destroying the whole of the voting by post provisions of the Bill. I leave out of consideration the clumsiness or otherwise of the clause in its present form.

Mr Glynn - An elector really does not vote at the post-office.

Mr McCAY - I am not quite sure as to where he votes under those circumstances, but I am inclined to believe, that although his vote may be counted at a place other than that at which he casts it, he really votes when he marks his ballot paper.

Mr. GLYNN(South Australia).- I recognise that there is a great deal in the remarks of the honorable and learned member for Corinella. Upon the whole, perhaps, it would be just as well to disregard the clumsy construction of the clause, seeing that its meaning is so obvious. I therefore ask leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment of Senate's amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That the Senate's amendment he amended by the omission of the word ''may" where first occurring in sub-clause (2), with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word " shall." "

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