Commonwealth electoral rolls held in Perth – Fact sheet 104

What are electoral rolls?

Commonwealth electoral rolls are an alphabetical listing of all persons eligible to vote in Commonwealth elections and referenda, arranged by electoral divisions. They have been produced since 1908.

Electoral rolls held in Perth

The Archives' Perth Office holds sets of Commonwealth electoral rolls for electors residing within Western Australian boundaries for the period 1914 to 1996. These consist of printed and official versions of the rolls.

Printed rolls

Printed rolls are produced for each election. They may also be produced between elections, usually at the request of a particular electoral division.

Bound printed electoral rolls are held for the period 1914 to 1989. They contain the name, address, occupation (omitted after 1983) and gender of each elector. Rolls from 1914 to 1983 are arranged into divisions with a further breakdown into sub-divisions. Maps and descriptions of the boundaries of sub-divisions are usually included. Within sub-divisions the electors are listed alphabetically by family name. From 1984 to 1989 rolls are alphabetically listed for the complete division only.

From 1990 printed rolls have been produced in a single microfiche format which lists electors alphabetically by name for the entire State rather than in separate electoral divisions.

Official rolls

Official rolls are copies of electoral rolls containing annotations by the Australian Electoral Commission which detail changes to the entry for an elector. They also record the elector's death or departure from or arrival in a division. These rolls are then used to produce the next printed copy of the electoral roll. Official rolls are available for public access once they enter the open access period and provided they do not contain notations about electors which are of a personally sensitive nature (these could include changes of name of electors or some reasons for the exclusion of electors from the roll). The Perth Office holds official electoral rolls from 1929 to 1996. Since 1970 official rolls have been produced as computer printouts.

The tables below list the printed and official electorate rolls for Western Australia, held in the Perth Office.

Electoral rolls held in Perth

Printed electoral rolls

Electoral rolls held in other locations

Rolls of Western Australian electors

The JS Battye Library of Western Australia, part of the State Library of Western Australia, has a small number of Western Australian Commonwealth rolls as well as the Western Australian State rolls.

Commonwealth electoral rolls

A full set of Commonwealth electoral rolls is held by the National Library of Australia.

Other offices of the Archives have have similar holdings of Commonwealth rolls (in paper and/or microform) for divisions within the respective State or Territory in which the office is located. You should contact reference staff in those offices for details of holdings.

Key dates in Commonwealth franchise history

Year

Event

1901

First Federal election. Conducted under State electoral legislation.

1902

Most men and women over 21 allowed to vote at Federal elections (exceptions were 'Aboriginal Natives of Australia, Asia, Africa or the Pacific Islands except New Zealand').

1924

Compulsory voting introduced for Federal elections.

1949

Aboriginal people were given the right to enrol and vote at Federal elections provided they were entitled to enrol for State elections or had served in the Defence Forces.

1962

All Aboriginal people became entitled to enrol and vote at Federal elections and referendums.

1973

The age for enrolment, voting and candidature was lowered to 18 years.

1984

Enrolment and voting for Aboriginals became compulsory. Franchise qualifications changed from British to Australian citizenship.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017