vote early and often

Chris F Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Thu Sep 28 17:51:51 UTC 2006

Dennis Baron wrote:
>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>  ----------------------- Sender:       American Dialect Society
>  <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> Poster:       Dennis Baron
>  <debaron at UIUC.EDU> Subject:      vote early and often
>  I'm trying to pin down "vote early and often." Is there a source for
>  this oft-repeated adage about Chicago politics?

Two cites in Project Gutenberg eBooks:

The voting commenced in the afternoon watch. The second part of the
starboard watch, being off duty, gave in their peas and beans first. The
receivers, without even knowing all the members of the League, took
whatever was handed to them "on the sly," and looked as careless and
indifferent as though nothing was going on. The only responsibility that
rested upon them, besides the general duty of carefulness and fidelity,
was to see that no one voted twice. "Vote early and vote often" was not
countenanced; and one receiver acted as a check upon the other.

Oliver Optic: Outward Bound, 1869, p. 276
In the summer of 1864, the governor-general of Canada paid the
President a visit, with a numerous escort. During the late
unpleasantness, as much comfort as possible under the Neutrality Act
was believed to have been given the raiders into the border towns,
as witness the St. Alban's Bank steal and the outfitting of
blockade-runners. But they were treated at Washington with perfect
courtesy. The head of the British party, at the conclusion, said with
some sarcasm in his genial tone:

"I understand, Mr. President, that everybody is entitled to a vote in
this country. If we remain until November, can /we/ vote?"

"You would have to make a longer residence, which I could desire,"
politely replied the host; "only, I fear we should not gain much by
that--for there was a countryman of your excellency, from the sister
kingdom of Ireland, though, who came here, and on landing wanted to
exercise the privilege you seek--to vote early and often! But the
officials at Castle Garden landing-stage laughed at him, saying that he
knew nothing about parties, to which he replied:

"'Bother the parties! It is the same here with me as in the old
country--I am agin' the government!' You see, he wanted to vote on the
side of the Rebellion! Your excellency would then be no more at a loss
to decide on which side!"

Henry L. Williams: The Lincoln Story Book. A Judicious Collection of the
Best Stories and Anecdotes of the Great President, Many Appearing Here
for the First Time in Book Form

Chris Waigl
wondering if Lincoln is the American Churchill
as far as quote attribution is concerned

The American Dialect Society -

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