Australian Electoral History: Changes In Voting Methods

Changes In Voting Methods
Year Change
1856
Secret Ballots, the so-called “Australian Ballot”, were first introduced in Victoria and South Australia. By the 1890s, all six colonies had adopted it.

  • 1856 – Victoria, South Australia
  • 1858 – New South Wales, Tasmania
  • 1859 – Queensland
  • 1893 – Western Australia
1901
The new Federation saw the first-past-the-post voting system introduced. Enrolment and voting was voluntary.
1906
Postal Voting introduced.
1908
Permanent Electoral Rolls Established.
1911
Compulsory Electoral Enrolment introduced.
1915
Voting became compulsory in Queensland State elections.
1918
Preferential Voting was introduced for the first time at the Corangamite by-election on December 14.
1919
Preferential Voting used in the Federal election on December 13.
1922
Grouping of names on the Senate ballot papers introduced.
1924
Compulsory Voting introduced.
1925
Compulsory voting used for the first time in federal elections. 91.31% of electors voted.
1934
Senate system of voting altered to require all preferences to be shown.
1940
Horizontal ballot papers first used in Senate elections.
1949
Proportional Voting by the single transferable vote was introduced for Senate elections.
1984
Group ticket voting introduced for Senate elections.


Source: Australian Electoral Commission Publications.


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