Voter registration card

Voting card

This voter registration card is from the first election under the South Australian Constitution in 1857 and is for the district of Adelaide.

The Constitution Act of 1855-6 allowed a vote to ‘every man of the age of 21 years being a subject of Her Majesty’. In 1838, Aboriginal people in the colony were proclaimed as British subjects, which meant male Aboriginal people had the right to vote from the beginning of responsible government.

There were no political parties in existence in South Australia before 1891. All elections in South Australia, from the 1857 election which inaugurated the two house parliament were contested by only independents.

State Library of South Australia, D5784