Electoral rolls

This guide was last updated in 2009

Electoral rolls can be very useful for pinpointing the address of a particular person at a particular time.

There are three sorts of rolls – covering federal, state and local government elections.

State rolls began in the 1840s or 1850s, depending on the state, and federal rolls were introduced on 1 January 1901. Women were given the right to vote in federal elections in 1902, making Australia one of the first countries in the world to provide such rights for its female citizens.

Copies of historic electoral rolls can be found in the state library of the area in question and will provide the residential address of the person sought. Copies may also be located at the National Library of Australia. By looking through consecutive lists, changes in residence may be found and likely dates of death pinpointed.

The current electoral roll can be viewed at the Australian Electoral Commission offices and is not available online.
 

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