Central and North Burnett Times - - ELECTION 2016 - PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

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.

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