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Tuesday, 23 November 1971
Page: 3529

Mr Calder (NORTHERN TERRITORY) asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to the numerous complaints about the state of the electoral rolls used at the recent elections for the Northern Territory Legislative Council.

(2)   Will he call for a full report from the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for the Northern Territory for details of any electors who were disfranchised on 23rd October 1 97 1.

(3)   What measures will be taken to ensure that any errors which may have occurred are corrected.

(4)   Will all necessary steps be taken to seen that the rolls are 100 per cent accurate for the next election.

(5)   If it is found that errors have occurred, wilt he take steps to see that innocent people are not penalised.

Mr Hunt - The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Chief Electoral Officer has drawn my attention to Press reports about the condition of the Northern Territory electoral rolls. The Chief Electoral Officer has advised me that due to the inability of the electoral office to conduct a full review in the Northern Territory in 1970 or 1971, the electoral rolls are not up-to-date. However, there is no evidence to support the reports that names have been omitted from the rolls due to computer malfunctions or staff errors.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   An alphabetical listing of persons whose names appear in the Northern Territory Electoral Rolls has been prepared. This listing will be compared with the information on the claims for enrolment submitted by the electors and any errors which are detected will be corrected.

(4)   In areas where it is possible to effect a house to house check of the electoral rolls, such a check will be undertaken by Review Officers during 1972. In respect of other areas, Electoral Agents will be appointed wherever possible to furnish information about the movement of persons eligible for enrolment. In addition the Returning Officer is required to use all available avenues to keep his rolls up-to-date. By using these means the electoral office expects the Northern Territoryroll to be as up-to-date as possible for the next House of Representatives election.

(5)   Yes.

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