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Thursday, 16 November 1911

Senator BARKER (Victoria) .- I trust that some provision will be inserted in the Bill to meet the wishes of the 17,000 or 18,000 persons who entertain conscientious objections to voting on Saturday. We have already provided that any person who expects to be distant more than 5 miles from the nearest polling place on polling day, may make a declaration to that effect.

Senator Millen - We have abolished that.

Senator BARKER - No. Such a person may go before the Returning Officer and record his vote. I feel convinced that, with very little difficulty, a provision could be inserted in the Bill which would enable any conscientious objector to record his vote on Friday. In addition to the Jews, there are the Seventh Day Adventists, who also have conscientious objections to voting on Saturday. Probably there are in the Commonwealth between 30,000 and 40,000 people who are influenced by the same motives. Ifwe can meet their objections without throwing too much work upon the Electoral Officers we ought to do so.

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