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Thursday, 31 May 1928

Mr PARKHILL (Warringah) . - I suggest that, unless the Minister can show that there is grave reason why the absent vote should not be permitted in other States, this method of voting should be re-instituted. A resident of Sydney can record an absent vote in any part of New South Wales. He can record a vote if at Albury, but not if at Wodonga on the other side of the river Murray. This is an inconsistency. I agree with the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Forde) that the Federal Electoral Act should not recognize State boundaries at all. All the federal electorates should be on the same plane. At present a large number of electors who on polling day are travelling in other States are disfranchised, and under the compulsory provisions of the act may be put to considerable inconvenience and trouble to explain why they did not vote. I urge the Government not to refuse to extend the absent vote unless it has some grave reason for doing so.

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