Opinion Number. 298

Subject

SENATE ELECTIONS WHETHER PROPER TO USE ROLLS IN EXISTENCE AT DATE OF WRIT CONSEQUENT UPON PARTIAL FAILURE OF ELECTION

Date
Client
The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs

The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs:

The following memorandum by the Chief Electoral Officer has been referred to me for advice:

It is presumed that the election of one Senator for the State of South Australia, rendered necessary by the decision of the High Court on the Vardon petition, will be held on the rolls as at the date of the issue of the new (or supplementary) writ by the Governor of the State, and not on the rolls as at the 12th December, 1906, notwithstanding that the candidate returned will (presumably) be held to have been elected a Senator as from the 1st January, 1907.

The writ for the election has not yet been issued, but a proclamation has been issued by the Governor of the State of South Australia under a State Act called The Election of Senators Act 1903, fixing the following times and places for the election of one Senator for that State for which election a writ shall be issued on the thirteenth day of January, 1908:

  1. The day and time before which nominations are to be made shall be at 12 o'clock noon on the twenty-first day of January, 1908.
  2. The place of nomination and of declaration of the poll shall be at the Sheriff's Office, Supreme Court Buildings, Victoria Square, Adelaide.
  3. The places at which the poll shall be taken shall be the same places as those which on the fifteenth day of February, 1908, are lawfully established as polling-places for elections for the House of Representatives.
  4. The poll shall be taken on the fifteenth day of February, 1908.
  5. The date for the declaration of the poll shall be not more than sixty days after the issue of the writ.

Assuming that the writ when issued will be framed in accordance with the proclamation, I am of opinion that the election should, in the event of a poll being necessary, be held on the rolls as in existence at the date of the writ.

[Vol. 6, p. 237]

(1)This Opinion was endorsed 'I agree with this opinion' by Mr Groom,Attorney-General.