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Voters honor suffragette Susan B. Anthony at grave on election day

"She's the reason I can vote," one woman said at the cemetery Tuesday.

By Doug G. Ware
The upstate New York grave of Susan B. Anthony, seen here in a portrait taken by renowned photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston, was a popular place on Tuesday as hundreds of people visited to show their appreciation for the pioneer's large-scale efforts for equality and paving the way for women to vote in the United States. Photo courtesy Library of Congress/UPI
The upstate New York grave of Susan B. Anthony, seen here in a portrait taken by renowned photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston, was a popular place on Tuesday as hundreds of people visited to show their appreciation for the pioneer's large-scale efforts for equality and paving the way for women to vote in the United States. Photo courtesy Library of Congress/UPI

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- After casting their ballots, thousands of voters made a stop at the Mount Hope Cemetery on Tuesday to pay tribute to Susan B. Anthony -- an activist and social reformer who was a critical figure in women's voting rights.

As many of the voters visited Anthony's grave, they left their "I voted" buttons and stickers on the historical icon's headstone. Cemetery officials, worried about the number of stickers that might adorn the grave, then asked visitors to place them on another headstone or a poster board nearby.

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The mini pilgrimmage was also broadcast live on Facebook for hours, by WROC-TV. More than five million viewers worldwide tuned in at one time or another.

One visitor left on the grave a sign produced by the labor union AFL-CIO that read, "she's with us" -- a play on Hillary Clinton's campaign phrase, "I'm with her."

Other items were also left at the grave site, including flowers, American flags and other personal memorabilia.

Many visitors also posed for photographs at the grave to mark the occasion.

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"I got an extra sticker to put on the grave," resident Madeline Quercia said. "I told the woman, 'I want my sticker, but can I get an extra one for Susan B. Anthony?' Because she's the reason I can vote."

The line to see Anthony's resting place was long -- wrapping around the entire cemetery and making some wait longer than they did to vote, WROC-TV reported.

Cemetery officials also said they will keep the grave site open longer than normal Tuesday, until 9 p.m., so people can continue to visit into the night. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported between 4,500 and 5,000 people had visited the grave by mid-afternoon.

"This is my opportunity and time to not only pay homage to women and suffrage acts like Susan B. Anthony, but also to women are continuing to fight for equality," resident Sophie Gallivan said.

Anthony (1820-1906) began her activism before she was 18, fighting against slavery in New York state. in 1866, she co-founded the American Equal Rights Association to campaign for equal rights for women and African Americans.

In 1872, she was arrested and convicted in her hometown of Rochester for voting. Anthony refused to pay the fine but local officials declined to press the case further. Historians say her large-scale efforts ultimately paved the way for the Nineteenth Amentment of the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed all citizens the right to vote.

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