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Thursday, 23 November 1911

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) - - The amendment suggested by Senator Symon would vitiate the clause altogether. It has been purposely drafted to enable the Electoral

Office to follow up cases of fraud on the part of any elector in the Commonwealth up to a period of three years. All the offences contemplated are not indictable. They are not all provided for in the existing table of electoral offences, for the reason that in the principal Act no provision is made for the card system of enrolment, and no provision or regulation for the manner in which votes may be recorded by electors who may happen to be outside the divisions in which they are enrolled.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Will the Minister mention any offences for fraud under this Act which are not indictable?

Senator FINDLEY - Improperlyor falsely witnessing an application for enrolment is one. That is not provided for in the principal Act, because the system was not in operation when that Act was passed. It is proposed to have a different system of compilation, with different forms. It is mainly for the purpose of enabling the office to trace cases of fraud or illegal practice that we require the period of three years. I feel sure that honorable senators opposite are extremely anxious to make this Bill as workable as possible, and to prevent illegal practices. With a view to doing what the Government consider right in the interests of candidates, and the community generally, they wish to have the opportunity of prosecuting persons guilty of the practices I have mentioned within a period of not less than three years.

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