Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Thousands Line Up to Place Voting Stickers on Susan B. Anthony's Grave


Thousands are memorializing pioneering suffragist Susan B. Anthony with their 2016 voting stickers. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Thousands are memorializing pioneering suffragist Susan B. Anthony with their 2016 voting stickers. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

On Election Day 144 years after Susan B. Anthony defied a restrictive society by illegally voting for president, thousands of people are lining up for hours to honor her activism by placing their voting stickers on her grave.

Anthony, who had worked for voting rights but also to reform slavery, education, divorce, labor and more, is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. The cemetery usually closes at 5:30 p.m., but will stay open until 9 p.m. on the night of the election to accommodate those who want to pay their respects in this unique, and relatively new, way.

"Visiting Susan B. Anthony's gravesite has become an Election Day rite of passage for many citizens,” the town's mayor Lovely Warren told the local newspaper, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

In an act of civil disobedience, suffragist Susan B. Anthony cast a ballot in the 1872 presidential election, voting for Ulysses S. Grant. Women were barred from voting in the United States, and she, along with 15 other activists, was arrested weeks later. Only Anthony was put on trial and convicted for her crime. She died in 1906, years before the right of women to vote was recognized with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

The Democrat & Chronicle reported that by midday Tuesday, Nov. 8, more than 2,000 people had already visited the grave, with the line snaking through the cemetery and waits extending beyond an hour. Voters who placed stickers on Anthony's grave say the act has special resonance this year, with Hillary Clinton, the first woman as a major party's presidential candidate, on the ballot.

Rochester resident Evalyn Gleason says that her grandmother Evalyn Horn was born in 1904, two doors down from where Susan B. Anthony lived. "It's amazing for me to be here today, with the same name as my grandmother, who wasn't even aware that women could vote until she was 18 years old," she says in the video above.

If you make your way to Rochester, there's more to the history of the suffrage movement than Anthony's grave. Check out this video tour of important sites the Democrat & Chronicle produced:

Suffragists Susan B. Anthony (left) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in an 1899 photograph.
Suffragists Susan B. Anthony (left) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in an 1899 photograph.
Universal history Archive/UIG/Getty Images