Transfers in Legislation from 1859 to 1902         return home

I'm looking at the evolution of the 'transfer' procedure, by which people would change their electoral district. 

In early legislation the issue didn't really arise, as rolls were compiled during a certain period of weeks/months every year. These lists were final and unalterable for a period of twelve months, and if a person was on the rolls they could vote.

In 1858/9 South Australia began a new registration system, whereby the rolls were compiled from scratch, via doorknocks by council clerks and police, every five years. At any time in any year people could apply to get on the rolls (or 'object' to the presence of others), although every name had to get through a Revision Court (every electorate had two of these a year) before being put on the roll. A new procedure, called transfers, was introduced, by which a person got a certificate from their 'old' returning officer and gave it to their 'new' returning officer. They still had to wait for a revision court before being able to vote, which was the cause of much complaint for decades to come. It was never really resolved. The issue was of integrity of the rolls versus their accessibility, and even today it remains contentious: just this year the government narrowed the window for address change after an election is called.

In 1902 the first federal act introduced transfers. Below are all legislative mentions of transfers in acts from 1859 to 1902. Generally a clause or several, plus a schedule. (This page is mainly for my benefit.).


Clause 19 of 1859 Act said that lists coming out of May Revision Courts applied from December to July, and November courts applied from July to December. So a six month delay.