Can I do a free search in the Australian electoral roll?

The Australian system is complicated by the fact that there is a country-wide electoral roll and individual state electoral registers and voters lists.

An organisation called the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has the only current version of the Commonwealth Electoral roll, which is available at every Australian Electoral Commission office throughout the country. There is an electronic version, but you have to go to Australia to actually look at it. There is no currently available Australian Electoral Roll on the internet, and there seem to be no plans to sell it to anyone to put it there.

We look at the availabilty of the Queensland electoral roll and the voters lists for South Australia below, then summarise what type of historical electoral roll information can be found.

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Queensland electoral roll

People in Queensland have full facilities to view the electoral roll free. They are able to look at the State electoral roll and the Federal electoral roll for free and the most recent Queensland electoral register dates to August 2006. The next one will be produced for the next State election so that the voters lists will be current. Again, you have to be in Australia but you can view an electronic version of the Queensland Electoral roll at the Electoral Commission of Queensland, and at any Australian Electoral Commission office in Queensland.


South Australia

The State Electoral Office of South Australia holds the state electoral roll, which is update every two years. Currently there are about 1 million people on the State voters list. A free electoral roll search can be made of the electronic version of the South Australia electoral roll but this, again is not available on the internet. However, South Australia does allow members of the public to buy the district electoral rolls that are printed each time there is an election, although this contains only the full name and address of people on the electoral register.

For information on the electoral roll for the UK and whether it is possible to carry out free electoral roll searches in the British records, see our two other news pages on this topic:

Electoral roll 2007

Electoral roll 20013

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Historical electoral rolls from Australia

The Canberra National Library holds microfiche of the Commonwealth electoral rolls that date back to 1901 and has a small number of State electoral rolls from earlier – again these are only available if you are in Australia.

The Western Australian electoral roll from 1919 to the present is available at the State Library of Western Australia.

The State Library of Tasmania holds theElectoral rolls and polling lists for the Legislative Council 1856-1900 on microfilm, the Tasmanian electoral handbook, 1851-1982, the Commonwealth of Australia, State of Tasmania electoral roll 1914-1989 and other Tasmanian electoral roll records.

It also has the New South Wales electoral rolls 1903-1922, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia electoral roll 1991-1996. Its voters lists for Victoria includes theelectoral roll 1845, the Melbourne electoral roll, 1847 (Hughes) 1847, the Melbourne and surrounds electoral roll 1851 and the Victoria electoral roll 1856, 1908, 1912 and then 1991-1996.

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