Monday, May 30, 2016

Should Negroes Be Allowed to Vote In Primaries? 1914

“Fight Over Negro Vote” from the May 28, 1914, issue of the Western Carolina Democrat and French Broad Hustler, Henderson, N.C.
Asheville, May 23—The reduction of the popular vote of Robert R. Reynolds by 10 votes on the allegation that 10 negroes cast their ballots for him when they were not eligible to participate in the Democratic primaries and the appointment of delegates to the Waynesville convention featured today’s meeting of the Buncombe County Convention.
The Gudger forces, well organized and contesting every point, won on every disputed question from the Reynolds forces, who lacked organization and whose leaders stated that they had decided to make no bitter fight for the 10 votes as the convention vote would not be affected.
At a meeting of the committee to pass on the challenges of the Reynolds men put forth able arguments to show that the 10 negroes had been voting the Democratic ticket for years but they had few supporters and the report of the committee was against them. The Buncombe vote in the convention will be cast as follows:
R.R. Reynolds, 36,838; J.O. Harrison, 249; Walter E. Moore, 824; James H. Merrimon, 7,858; J.M. Gudger, 31,217. Resolutions were adopted condemning the allowing of the negroes to take part in Democratic primaries.
Reynolds and Gudger forces concede that a convention fight will decide the winner, and both said they will go into the convention in the lead.
Rutherford for Reynolds
Rutherfordton, May 25—Offical returns of the county convention here Saturday give Rutherford county to Reynolds by a small convention majority and a popular vote of 90 over J.M. Gudger Jr., the official vote being as follows: Reynolds, 22.23; Gudger, 21.89; Merrimon, .53; Moore, .1`2; Harrison, .23; out of a total of 45 congressional convention votes.

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