With the Election just one day away, we’ve been delving into our Australian Voter Lists and uncovering some historical facts…
Did you know…
- In the 1840s only property owners were eligible to vote. Wealthy landowners were allowed up to 4 votes each.
- By 1858, most men were eligible to vote but paupers, prisoners, policemen, and military members, however, were not allowed to vote.
- It was almost half a centurElectoral Rollsy later when Australian women who were British subjects gained the right to vote – ranging from 1895 in South Australia to Victoria in 1908.
- From 1925, voting in Federal elections became compulsory for those over 21, and from 1973, for those over 18.
- Non-British subjects were not allowed to vote until the 1940s and Aborigines until 1949.
Electoral Rolls are a wonderful resource for family historians. Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 act as a great “census substitute” and are useful when census records are not available.
Because electoral rolls were published on a fairly consistent basis and are generally country-wide (excluding South Australia), they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.
Older records can be found in our NSW, Historical Electoral Rolls, 1842-1864.