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Tuesday, 31 October 1905

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - I think that the provision as it stands will give greater facilities for voting than would the amendment. We are dealing with the case of a man who wishes to vote at an election for the Senate. If he is out of his division on polling day, he is not entitled to vote at the election for the House of Representatives, because he cannot vote at his own polling place at a prescribed place in his sub-division, or at any polling place in a division, of his electorate. But under the Bill as it stands, at an election for the Senate he is entitled to vote subject to the regulations, even although he is outside his electoral division.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - Why not make the facilities for voting the same in each case?

Senator KEATING - They are made the same. For instance, at every polling place in the division of Melbourne there is a complete copy of the electoral roll for Melbourne. If a man comes from another polling place, the officers can check his claim to vote for Melbourne at any polling place in the electorate. If, on the other hand, he wants to vote at the election for the Senate, and he happens to come from Port Fairy, the officers at Melbourne may be able to check his claim to vote by looking at the roll which would contain the names of the residents of Port Fairy. If, however; he happened to have gone to the North-E astern district, the case might be different. So far as voting for the Senate is concerned, the place of voting outside one's division is prescribed by regulation, and where a man does vote in, his own division he votes by form Q. I think that the amendment would have the effect of restricting rather than extending the facilities for voting. It would be practically impossible to have the electoral rolls at every polling place, because that would involve considerable expense, and the advantage to be gained would be altogether out of proportion to the cost.

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