The State Library has an extensive collection of Australian electoral rolls from 1862 to 2009.
Both the Federal and State Electoral Commissions ceased providing copies of electoral rolls to libraries from 2012 due to ‘legislative changes’. Current electoral rolls (electronic version) are now only available at an Electoral Office (AEC or SA Electoral Commission).
In addition to electoral rolls, the Library has extensive holdings of directories and almanacs for most states up until the 1970s. The South Australian directories for the years 1839 to 1973 are available online at this link.
South Australian telephone directories have been published since 1898 onwards. These can only be viewed by visiting the State Library.
Electoral Rolls can be viewed at the State Library during opening hours. The Library is open seven days a week, being closed only on public holidays.
While staff are happy to assist in using the resources, we are unable to conduct extensive searches on your behalf.
For non-lengthy enquiries, or if you are unable to visit the State Library in person, you can send us your request online via Ask Us.
Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924 for Commonwealth elections (except for Aboriginal people) and in 1942 for South Australian elections.
Currently enrolment to vote is compulsory for Australian citizens who are 18 years and over, and have lived at their current address for at least one month.
The qualifying age for voting was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1973.
British subjects who were on the roll on 25 January 1984 retain their voting, provided they were correctly enrolled.