Elections Act of 1872, (Top 150: #19)

In 1871 John Malbon Thompson, MLA for Ipswich, introduced his Electoral Bill into parliament. The Bill, which subsequently became the Electoral Act, confirmed manhood suffrage for all native-born or naturalised male citizens over 21 years of age, and was based on a six month residency rather than property qualifications. 

Although the Act failed to enfranchise men with no permanent residence, particularly those engaged in itinerant rural pursuits, it went considerably further than all previous legislation by refining the preparation of voting rolls to prevent any resident from voting more than once in the same electorate. In an attempt to curtail widespread electoral fraud, the Act disenfranchised members of the military, police, salaried police magistrates and clerks petty sessions. One unusual provision allowed for a university in Queensland, whenever such an institution was established, to have its own member of parliament when graduates exceeded 100 in numbers.

Despite Thompson's efforts to eliminate electoral fraud, it was necessary to include further amendments the following year which made it compulsory for electors to present their voting rights prior to polling and for paid officials to replace local Revision Courts. 


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