There is much evidence of the dedication of Evanston women to the cause of suffrage in the face of long odds. Some materials, however, also reveal some arguments for women’s suffrage that are troubling to readers in the present. For example, Aleck G. Whitfield, the high school senior awarded first prize by the EPEL for his essay on the question, “Should Chicago Women Have Municipal Suffrage?” (1910 or 1911) cited statistics from the 1900 census to show that suffrage would increase the voting power of native-born Chicagoans over immigrants. “The vote of the ignorant,” Whitfield wrote, “has always been a menace to good government. The foreign element which has so large a percentage of ignorant members is detrimental for this reason." The embrace of this kind of anti-immigrant language by Progressive reformers complicates the story we tell about the crucial battle for the enfranchisement of women.
Additionally, In 1897, the Illinois Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women was formed. Led by Caroline Corbin, who lived for a short time in Evanston, the organization was vehemently opposed to women voting due to its concern that families and society would unravel if women were allowed to step out of their proper sphere of the home and into the political sphere. Corbin was active in the women's temperance movement and at first, supported suffrage. Later, she feverishly wrote the state legislature opposing the suffrage bill and sent letters to the Chicago Tribune in opposition to any pro-suffrage articles they ran.