Australian Capital Territory Voting Registers
Voting registers, called electoral rolls in Australia, have been prepared for the Australian Capital Territory from 1916. They record the surname, given name(s), occupation and address of adult males and females entitled to vote at the polls in the Australian Capital Territory.
The Territorial Franchise
When the Federal Capital Territory came into being on 1 January 1911, the residents of the Territory lost most of their voting rights: they were not represented in either house of Parliament, they were no longer residents of a State, there was no local government and their votes were not counted in referenda to alter the Constitution. They were, however, called to the polls on the occasions of plebescites and local option polls.
House of Representatives
The residents of the Australian Capital Territory were granted a Member of the House of Representatives albeit with limited voting rights in the House by the Australian Capital Territory Representation Act, 1948 (Cth). Those voting rights were extended by the Australian Capital Territory Representation Act, 1959 (Cth) and full voting rights in the House achieved with the Australian Capital Territory Representation Act, 1966 (Cth).
Until 1954, the electoral roll referred to the electorate as The Territory for the Seat of Government; thereafter, the Australian Capital Territory.
In 1974, the territorial population had grown so that a second seat was created: The ACT gained a second seat in the House of Representatives. The two seats were named Canberra (generally covering the area south of Lake Burley Griffin) and Fraser (generally covering the north). A third seat was created for the 1996 election but then abolished before the 1998 election because of a fall in territorial population: Namadji (generally covering the south, whilst Canberra moved its coverage north so as to straddle Lake Burley Griffin).
Those residents of Norfolk Island who are entitled to vote in Australian elections are enrolled in the seat of Canberra.
Jervis Bay Territory
Residents of the Jervis Bay Territory are enrolled in the seat of Fraser.
- Canberra electorate profile at the Australian Electoral Commission.
- Fraser electorate profile at the Australian Electoral Commission.
The Australian Capital Territory was granted two Senators by the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973 (Cth). The same electoral roll is used for Senate and House of Representatives elections.
The earliest territorial rolls were prepared for use in plebescites and local option polls (in relation to the sale and public consumption of alcohol) but territorians did not vote in constitutional referendums until after 1977 when the constitution was amended to allow their votes to be counted.
Historical Electoral Rolls
The Australian Electoral Commission is charged with compiling and maintaining the electoral roll. It makes available at its divisional offices the current roll for inspection but does not hold historical rolls. At the conclusion of each election event, the Commission gives a copy of the roll to the State Library in each state and to the National Library of Australia.
- A.C.T Electoral Rolls 1916 — 1967 has a searchable database of the the electoral rolls for the years 1916, 1917, 1928, 1935, 1943, 1949, 1955, 1959 and 1967.
- Ancestry.com.au has the Australian Capital Territory electoral rolls indexed for 1928, 1935, 1937, 1943, 1949, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1980 and images only for 1929-31.
- Hidden Canberra has annotated electoral rolls.