Name of voter
Nature of qualification
Where the property affording qualification is located
Who will be listed in electoral rolls:
Requirements dictating who was eligible to vote changed throughout the years. Many times eligibility was tied to property ownership. In 1842 the following individuals were eligible to vote:
Possessors of freehold estates within the electorate valuing £100 or more.
Possessors of government licenses to depasture lands within the electorate.
Occupiers of houses within the electorate with an annual value of £10 or more.
Possessors of leasehold estates with an annual value of £10 or more and 3 or more years left on the lease.
In 1858 eligibility was extended to all adult males who had lived within the electorate for the previous 6 months and were either British citizens by birth or naturalized citizens of 5 years living in the colony for the previous two years. Paupers, prisoners, policemen, and military members, however, were not allowed to vote. The property requirements also remained in force.
Arrangement of Records:
Within the colony voters were organized into electoral districts and wards according to where they lived. Electoral rolls were compiled according to these geographical divisions. The boundaries of districts and wards could change throughout the years.
Why Use Electoral Rolls:
Electoral rolls are great records to use as “census substitutes.” They are useful when census records are either not complete or non-existent, and are usually available in between census years. Because electoral rolls were published on a fairly consistent basis, they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.