The Election

Buffalo County, site of the Kearney Convention a year earlier, gave a majority for the Impartial Suffrage Amendment, as did ten other counties, Custer, Dawson, Frontier, Greeley, Holt, Nance, Red Willow, Valley, Wayne, and Wheeler. Nebraska suffragists continued campaigning up to the moment voters cast ballots. Accounts from Election Day portray cheering women gathering at polling places, serving sandwiches and beverages, riding buggies emblazoned with suffrage slogans, and generally hopeful of a good outcome. In the Omaha Daily Republican, Datus Brooks anticipated,

"Instead of the usual 'What'll you have - whiskey or beer?' the invitation 'Come and take a drink of coffee with me' will be heard." Two years later, Clara Colby described an election day of banners and flags flying alike over governors and governed; over the patriot working for justice, and the six months residents of foreign birth who promptly marched up to defend his newly acquired rights from being shared by the daughters of the Pilgrims; alike, over women beseeching men to cast their votes for their freedom, and men who all day long were-selling their sister's birthright for a glass of beer or for a personal vote.

Anthony and other suffrage leaders had reserved Boyd's Opera House for the day after the election. By evening, it was clear Nebraska would not adopt impartial suffrage; the meeting would serve more to console than rejoice and would offer an opportunity for activists to "dedicate themselves anew to this struggle for liberty." The disappointment was sharp, but Boyd's was filled to capacity with supporters who listened eagerly to the words of Anthony, Colby, Haidman, and others. Colby, as the local voice, congratulated the campaigners who worked so hard, noting the vote was the largest cast for woman suffrage in a single state. Anthony announced that the National Woman Suffrage Association had spent over $5,000 on the campaign and was "now $500 in the red." The campaign had convinced her that it was "impossible to canvass every town and neighborhood," and she vowed never to attempt it again, telling Nebraskans they should never "submit the question…to a popular vote again." Anthony reiterated her determination to focus NWSA efforts on a passing a federal amendment.

The final election numbers did offer some cause for celebration and suffragists generally offered positive evaluations of the educational and organizational work done during the campaign. In the Woman's Journal, Lucy Stone recounted individual efforts and the strain of the campaign and offered praise:

All over it [Nebraska] there are more women than men who are active suffragists, ready and able to take their own part. In no state have we ever found so many men and women who with real earnestness, came to the defense of this cause, or who did it at such a cost. The long rides of twenty or twenty-five miles to attend a meeting, and then to ride the whole distance back the same night, sometimes without even a chance to have supper, are no trifles, and they are not undertaken for mere pleasure.