Droves of people are visiting Susan B. Anthony’s burial site to honor the famed women’s rights activist and place “I Voted Today” stickers on her tombstone.
Anthony, a leading advocate for women’s suffrage, was buried in Rochester, New York, at Mount Hope Cemetery in 1906. She died 14 years before women gained the right to vote in America.
For many voters, there is a special significance attached to this election, given that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could become the first female president of the United States.
“I’m voting for the first woman president,” Gillian Paris told Democrat and Chronicle. “As a woman I can vote because of the sacrifices [Anthony] made.”
Over 1,000 people had visited Anthony’s grave before noon on Nov. 8.
“I am shocked at the number of people who are here today,” Janice Schwind said. “I thought I could come in, throw my sticker on there and run off to work. I’m an hour late so far.”
Johanna Rehbaum brought along her 14-month-old daughter.
“I want her to know that she was part of this,” she said. “When Hillary wins, I want her to be part of it.”
It was an emotional experience for many of the women and girls who made the trek to the cemetery. Jodi Atkin says she couldn’t stop herself from crying while casting her vote.
“I never cried when I filled out my ballot before,” she explained. “But I realized my daughters, and I have three of them, have the right to vote for a woman. It made me cry.”
Many of those present recognize the crucial role Anthony played in the women’s suffrage movement.
“If it wasn’t for her and the people that worked with her, we wouldn’t be voting today,” Sherry Gilchrist said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Nora Rubel, who heads the Susan B. Anthony Institute at the University of Rochester, was at the cemetery with her daughters.
“I have two daughters. We went to the polls together and we wanted to come here together and put our stickers on the grave,” Rubel explained. “It’s an historic time to choose to come. It’s an amazing moment.”
Mount Hope Cemetery announced that it will be extending its hours to accommodate people who can’t visit until later in the day, according to The Associated Press. An entrance near Anthony’s grave will be open until 9 p.m. The cemetery usually closes at 5:30 p.m.
Sources: Democrat and Chronicle, AP via CBS News / Photo credit: Max Schulte via Democrat and Chronicle, WROC/Twitter