Susan B. Anthony worked her entire life for basic equality for American women. But by the time she died in 1906 at 86 years old, women were still 14 years away from the Constitutional right.
But over the years, women and others have shown their gratitude for her work by putting their “I Voted Today” stickers on her gravestone in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. In this general election, featuring the first female major party nominee, the tradition has become especially meaningful, regardless of who you support for the presidency.
Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced Friday that the Mt. Hope Cemetary would extend its typical hours from a 5:30 p.m. close to a 9 p.m. close on Election Day, so people could include Anthony in this “important moment.”
“Visiting Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite has become an Election Day rite of passage for many citizens in Rochester and with this year’s historically significant election, it seems right to extend that opportunity until the polls close,” Warren said in a statement.
Warren, who is the first female mayor of Rochester, left a note near Anthony’s grave after Hillary Clinton officially clinched the Democratic nomination in July.
“Dear Susan B: We thought you might like to know that for the first time in history, a woman is running for President representing a major party,” the note read. “144 years ago your illegal vote got you arrested. It took another 48 years for women to finally gain the right to vote. Thank you for paving the way.”
Anthony herself looked forward to this exact moment over a century ago, saying, “There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”