Universal suffrage in Australia

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Australia is a federal state. On joining federation the states ceded certain powers to the federal government but retained other powers for themselves. As a result, suffrage was granted at different times by Australian states and the federal government.

The following definitions are used in the table below:

Universal Male Suffrage: Men of the majority or predominant ethnic group are permitted one secret vote in free elections irrespective of possession of land, wealth, education levels or literacy levels where the minimum age is no higher than 21.

Universal Female Suffrage: Women are permitted to vote on the same basis as men.

It is universally accepted within psephology that some citizens may be deprived of suffrage while a jurisdiction can still be considered to have Universal Suffrage. Examples of citizens so deprived include military officers, citizens who are non-resident, citizens serving a term of imprisonment and citizens with serious criminal records.

Jurisdiction Universal Male Suffrage Universal Female Suffrage Difference (years) Notes
Australia 1901 1902 1 During the 1901 (inaugural) federal election women were eligible to vote if they were eligible to vote in their home state elections. As a result women in South Australia and Western Australia voted in the 1901 election.
New South Wales 1858 1902 44
Queensland 1872 1905 33
South Australia 1855 1895 40
Tasmania 1896 1903 7
Victoria 1857 1908 51
Western Australia 1893 1899 6

See Also