Stone Collection: Volume 4B - Item 48
48. Matthew Hale, “The Useless Risk of the Ballot for Women,” Forum (June 1894): 406-12.
Argument against a proposal to strike the word “male” in the suffrage clause of the constitution of New York. The author dismisses several reasons for granting women the right to vote and offers three reasons of his own as to why they should not. The first deals with the prospect of an increase in false registrations given the larger number of voters, and the second predicts an increase in electoral bribery and corruption. The third reason, however, sums up the author’s basic point of view. “While it is freely conceded that there are many women who by character, ability, and education are eminently qualified to exercise suffrage,--much better qualified than some men,--still it must also be conceded that there are many distinctions, physical and mental, between men and women, as classes, which in the judgment of many intelligent people of both sexes render it inexpedient that the duty and burden of the suffrage should be imposed on women.”