Susan B. Anthony, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, is being honored during this years historic presidential election. On Tuesday morning, Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, where Anthony is buried, was filled with voters placing ‘I Voted’ stickers on the activist’s gravestone.
People have been visiting the grave to place stickers on the grave since 2014, reports say. But this year, the Rochester tradition takes on a new meaning as the first woman presidential candidate vies for the White House.
The cemetery, which normally closes at 5:30 p.m. will remain open until 9:00 pm tonight, the same time the polls close in New York. Visitors are urged to bring flashlights with them.
“Visiting Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite has become an Election Day rite of passage for many citizens,” Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren told NY Magazine. “With this year’s historically significant election, it seems right to extend that opportunity until the polls close.”
By nine this morning about 300 people, mostly women and girls, had come to Mount Hope Cemetery and waited in line to place their sticker on Anthony’s headstone, according to USA Today. The suffrage leader’s grave is almost entirely covered with the famous ‘I Voted’ stickers as the day goes on.
“I am shocked at the number of people who are here today. I never expected this,” Janice Schwind of Rochester told Democratic and Chronicle. “It’s making me all choked up to see all the people,” she said.
Despite it being illegal, the women’s rights pioneer illegally cast her vote in 1872 for Republican nominee Ulysses S. Grant. She was later arrested and convicted for her crime, but never paid her $100 fine.
“Well I have been & gone & done it!!–positively voted the Republican ticket–strait this a.m. at 7 O’clock” wrote Susan B.Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. “If only now–all the women suffrage women would work to this end of enforcing the existing constitution–supremacy of national law over state law–what strides we might make this winter…I hope you voted too,” she writes.
Anthony died in 1906, 14 years before the 19th amendment was passed in 1920, giving women the same voting rights as men.