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At Susan B. Anthony's Grave, Visiting Hours Extended For Election Day Crowds

The Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., extended visiting hours on Election Day to accommodate those leaving "I Voted" stickers and other mementos at the grave of Susan B. Anthony.
Adam Fenster
The Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., extended visiting hours on Election Day to accommodate those leaving "I Voted" stickers and other mementos at the grave of Susan B. Anthony.

The cemetery where women's suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony is buried extended its hours Tuesday "to accommodate those wishing to celebrate their vote" at her gravesite.

Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., will be open until polls there close at 9 p.m. ET.

Although this presidential election is the first in American history to have a woman on the ballot as a major party candidate, it is not the first time people have commemorated their votes by visiting Anthony's grave.

Mount Hope Cemetery wrote on its Facebook page:

"In past years, many Election Day visitors to Ms. Anthony's gravesite have left behind their 'I Voted Today' stickers. Provisions will be made to allow this practice to continue with commemorative boards in place. ...

"All visitors are asked to remember Mount Hope is an active cemetery and to please be respectful. Personnel will be on site to assist visitors. After dark (5:30 p.m.), access to Ms. Anthony's gravesite will be limited to pedestrians and flashlights are recommended. The area containing Ms. Anthony's grave is in an older portion of the cemetery and can become congested with many visitors."

Local television station News 8 WROC posted a live video of the gravesite.

Of course Anthony is not the only suffragist to receive recognition on Election Day. Some people online posted images of the grave of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who along with Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association. Staff at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City had placed a placard next to Stanton's grave for visitors to attach their stickers.

Woodlawn, which is also the final resting place of League of Women Voters founder Carrie Chapman Catt and her longtime associate Mary Garrett Hay, provided visitors Tuesday with "I Voted" stickers, according to The New York Times.

"We thought, 'We're going to do something that's not all about Trump and all about Clinton,' " cemetery director, David Ison, told the paper.

Additionally, online efforts have literally been widening the map of opportunities for voters to pay tribute to the women who fought for inclusion in the electorate.

One blogger in Michigan assembled a public map of suffrage activist graves, the Detroit Free Press reports. The map, which includes burial sites of civil rights activistsSojourner Truth in Battle Creek and Mary McCoy in Warren, was shared through Instagram with the hashtag #VisitASuffragist.

On Twitter, writer Roxane Gay was among those who suggested Ida B. Wells as an icon worth paying tribute to.

In addition to her suffrage activism, Wells investigated the lynching of blacks in the South and fought for the rights of black women within the suffrage movement.

In 1913, Wells refused to march in the racially segregated unit of a suffrage parade and joined her state's delegation instead, according to the National Women's History Museum.

Election Day visitors to Wells' grave at Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery might leave something other than a sticker, however, as the city is opting for "I Voted" wristbands instead of the traditional sticker, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rebecca Hersher
Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.