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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oregon County-by-County Totals for Woman Suffrage Ballot Measure November 1912

Here are the county-by-county totals for the November 1912 ballot measure on the question of extending the right of suffrage to women from the Oregon State Archives in chart and map forms.

1912 (Measures) Abstract of Votes, Cast at General Election held in the State of Oregon on the fifth Day of November, 1912, on all measures "Referred to the People by the Legislative Assembly," "Referendum Ordered by Petition of the People," and "Proposed by Initiative Petition."  Compiled by Ben W. Olcott, Secretary of Sate, From the Official Canvass Made November 29, 1912. Bound between Oregon Blue Book 1911 and Oregon Blue Book 1913-1914 in Oregon Blue Book, 1907-1914, Oregon State Archives

“Equal suffrage amendment, extending the right of suffrage to women."
County                       Total Ballots Cast    300 Yes           301 No
Baker                           3,993                           1,577               1,519
Benton                         2,758                           1,161               1,180
Clackamas                   6,852                           2,724               2,932
Clatsop                       2,864                           1,277               1,048
Columbia                     2,213                              810                  814
Coos                            3,972                           1,846               1,255
Crook                          2,933                           1,062                  973
Curry                             661                              343                  195
Douglas                       5,081                           2,285               1,887
Gilliam                           898                              327                  392
Grant                           1,490                              545                  451
Harney                        1,361                              554                  491
Hood River                 1,715                              766                  617
Jackson                       5,514                           2,794               1,875
Josephine                    2,361                           1,193                  782
Klamath                      2,147                              919                  688
Lake                            1,123                              385                  393
Lane                            7,783                           3,508               2,424
Lincoln                        1,380                              507                  558
Linn                             5,640                           2,224               2,547
Malheur                      1,942                              775                  690
Marion                        8,273                           3,151               3,885
Morrow                      1,159                              459                  398
Multnomah                41,421                        19,288              17,701
Polk                             3,416                           1,242               1,724
Sherman                         740                              297                  280
Tillamook                    1,567                              559                  516
Umatilla                      4,659                           2,067               1,728
Union                          3,452                           1,236               1,190
Wallowa                      1,930                              802                  847
Wasco                         2,725                              984               1,239
Washington                 5,014                           1,541               2,010
Wheeler                          737                              275                  256
Yamhill                        4,339                           1,782               1,619
Totals                      144,118                          61,265            57,104

Note: Present Jefferson County created from portion of Crook County in 1914; present Deschutes County created from portion of Crook County 1916.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Equal Suffrage Victory and Suffrage Leaders Grateful

We are used to having election results the evening of Election Day. In 1912 it took three days for officials to be comfortable enough to call the election. 

On Election Day reporters from the Oregon Journal interviewed Esther Lovejoy about the prospects for victory. On November 8, with the suffrage victory assured, they interviewed her again, along with other women and men on both sides of the question.

"The Significance of Equal Suffrage," Oregon Journal, November 8, 1912, 15.

Lovejoy linked the Oregon victory to those in Kansas and Arizona (early returns suggested suffrage had passed in Michigan, but it did not pass that year), noting that 1912 was "a wonderful election for the emancipation of women."

She also compared the 1912 victory to the recent campaign of 1910, campaigns in which she and other suffragists had not been active because Abigail Scott Duniway had pushed for a tax-payer suffrage measure that privileged property owning women. Also there were thousands of workers compared to hundreds in the 1908 and 1910 campaigns. She reiterated that Oregon men had acted to support full suffrage for women as a Pacific Coast measure to complete the region's equal suffrage scope.

Lovejoy also responded to the anti-suffrage argument that women would not use the vote. "I have no doubt but what the women will vote," she noted, "of course there will be an occasional one who will not just as there are men who do not." She believed that non voters should be disenfranchised because she was "a firm believer in doing one's duty at the polls."

Lovejoy and Everybody's Equal Suffrage League had come together with other organizations, including the Colored Women's Equal Suffrage League, the Men's League and the Stenographers' Equal Suffrage Club in the Oregon State Central Campaign Committee. This did not represent all of the 23 groups in Portland, but it did represent significant coalition building and African American women's participation indicates an important, if still limited, crossing of racial boundaries in the campaign. The organizations joined in signing a letter to the editor of the Oregon Journal extending "cordial appreciation to the many editors throughout the state who have so materially assisted in the recent campaign by their generous support of the equal suffrage amendment.

"Suffrage Leaders Grateful," Oregon Journal, November 9, 1912, 4.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"If we do fail . . . we will start tomorrow to win two years hence": Esther Pohl Lovejoy, November 5, 1912

The Oregon Journal interviewed suffrage supporters and opponents on Election Day, November 5, 1912. Esther Lovejoy emphasized what she termed elsewhere "Oregon's local grievance": the state was surrounded by other states in which women could vote.

"I am certain that we will win," she told the Journal,"for I feel that the men of Oregon realize as never before the humiliating position the women of our state are placed in by being hemmed in on all sides by states who allow their women to vote." She was optimistic for a victory, even in Multnomah County, whose male voters had not supported suffrage strongly in years past. 

But Lovejoy was clear: if the measure did not pass, "we will start tomorrow to win two years hence."

"Will the 23,000 Majority Against Women Stand Pat," Oregon Journal, November 5, 1912, 12.