How voting began in Australia
1901 – Federation: The six self-governing colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia. The first parliamentary Commonwealth election was held on March 29 and 30. Edmund Barton became Australia’s first Prime Minister. The Commonwealth Parliament met on May 9 with 75 members in the House of Representatives and 36 Senators.
1902 – The parliament passed the Commonwealth Franchise Act that gave the vote to men over the age of 21 but not to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups. White women over the age of 21 in South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales were also allowed to vote. The Act also created the roles of Electoral Officers and the Electoral Registrars.
1903 – The first Federal Election under federal law was held on December 16 with just less than half the eligible voters casting a ballot. Women over 21 in Tasmania got the vote.
1905 – Commonwealth electoral divisions were created. Women over 21 in Queensland got the vote.
1908 – Women in Victoria got the vote.
1911 – Compulsory enrolment introduced but voting in federal election remained voluntary.
1925 – Compulsory voting which was introduced in 1924 was used for the first time in federal elections with a 91% turnout.
1927 – Parliament met for the first time in Canberra on May 9.