ITALIANS FAVOR FRANCHISE. ~ Canvasser Says He Did Not Hear Any Talk of Money Being Used.

November 29, 1909

Canvasser Says He Did Not Hear
Any Talk of Money Being Used.

Edward B. O'Dowd, 2404 Paseo, an insurance agent with offices in 501 Kemper building, is one of the legally appointed canvassers for the board of election commissioners in obtaining names of voters disfranchised by change of residence. It so happened that he and his colleague have just finished some of the precincts in the Seventh ward.

"When canvassers were appointed," said Mr. O'Dowd last night, "all were instructed that they were named for the sole purpose of finding out who had moved away. Under no circumstances were we to attempt to get the sentiment of the voters. A. C. Perkins, my colleague, and I have obeyed this instruction to the letter.

"Most of our work has been down in what is known as 'Little Italy,' " continued Mr. O'Dowd. "While neither of us asked for an expression of opinion many of the men volunteered their sentiments on the Metropolitan franchise question and without doubt the most of them appear to be in favor of it. During all of the canvass I never heard even the mention of money being used to buy votes in 'Little Italy" and, if it is such common talk down there some of 'the more ignorant sort,' as the Star calls these working men, certainly would have expressed themselves while we were making the rounds. while many were free to give expressions of favor of the four-cent fare franchise, as it appeared to appeal to them most, not one as much as suggested that money was being used."

Mr. O'Dowd said that the story printed in the Star is not true. The Star story was that "canvassers were told in 'Little Italy' that many of the Italian voters of the more ignorant sort are expecting to be well paid for their votes. One Italian leader said: 'Money will do most anything. It will carry this ward for the franchise.' "