Maori voting rights in Australia have an unusual history compared to voting rights for other non-white minorities. Māori were first given the vote through the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which specifically limited voting enrolment to persons of European descent, and "aboriginal native(s)" of New Zealand, in an effort to allay New Zealand's concerns about joining the Federation. During the parliamentary debates over the Act, King O'Malley supported the inclusion of Maori, and the exclusion of Australian Aboriginals, in the franchise, arguing that "An aboriginal is not as intelligent as a Maori."
This anomalous condition remained in some jurisdictions (such as the Northern Territory) until 1962, when the Commonwealth Electoral Act superseded the earlier act.
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