Chinese Voting: 0050.0506


            In Toronto Chinamen have the right to vote in municipal elections.  One Sam Kee was on the list used last January and the poll record showed that a ballot had been issued for him.  “Sam Kee,” however, was only the nom de plume for the wash-house bills, and was sold along with the tubs and clotheslines between the time of voting and the investigation of election frauds.  So when a policeman called and asked the new claimant to Sam Kee if he had voted, and was assured to the contrary, he subpoenaed the Chinaman to give evidence of supposed impersonation.  Sam being busy with his wash, and not up on legal etiquette, hired a countryman to impersonate him in turn; and this bogus Sam Kee duly appeared in court, and with owl-like gravity detailed his movements on polling day to prove that he could not possibly have voted.  The judge, says an exchange, complimented him on his intelligent appreciation of the proceedings, and sent the mystified Mongolian away to ponder on the white man’s vagaries.  The story appeared in the papers, and Sam Kee’s landlord having explained the change of tenants the edge of the inquisitor’s wits is perceptibly dulled.

0050.0506: Chinese Voting

Chinamen allowed to vote in municipal elections in Toronto.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  May 7, 1904
Pages:  1
Publisher:  The Nelson Economist
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0050)


chinamen vote municipal elections poll record ballot frauds policeman judge


People arrow Keearrow
Social arrow Racism arrow Chinesearrow
Government arrow Elections arrow Municipalarrow


For additional features, including access to full text resources, become a member.

Find out more about Memberships.

Share what you know

Share what you know

Do you have additional information about this resource?

Please share what you know.

This resource may be protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.