Did Bell Believe in Universal Suffrage?

​Yes. Bell was extremely inclusive in his views about society and believed that all adult citizens had a right to vote regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity, or any other restriction. In a 1901 letter from Bell to his wife Mabel, he wrote “I believe in universal suffrage, without qualification of education, sex, color or property.”

Bell went on to tell his wife, “I am quite sure that you are much better able to vote intelligently than a farm laborer who can neither read nor write, and yet you are denied the right to vote — if you so desire — and he is not. One half of the whole population — and that the more intelligent half — is utterly disfranchised.”

According to Bell, “I do not recommend women to vote — that is a matter for themselves entirely to decide — but I have no right to prevent them from doing so. Men, having at the present time the sole legal power of voting, have abused their power by denying to women the exercise of what is a natural right under the republican form of government.”

It was not until 1920 that the US Congress ratified the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

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