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Hundreds continue the tradition, visit Susan B. Anthony grave on Election Day

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

Voters paid their respects at Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in Mt. Hope Cemetery on Election Day, carrying on a local tradition on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted many women the right to vote.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said she visits Anthony’s gravestone for inspiration, and to remind others of the suffragist’s legacy. 

“As women in the state of New York, we have a special responsibility conferred on all of us, particularly those of us in elected office, to make that torch grow even brighter before we pass it on to the next generation,” said Hochul. “There are more battles to be had.”

One of the eldest visitors at the gravesite was Floris Lent, a descendent of the Anthony family who was celebrating her 99th birthday on Election Day. After casting her ballot, her friend took her to the cemetery so she could place her "I Voted" sticker on Anthony’s gravestone.

“I think she’d be very pleased.” Lent said. “My God, she was a pioneer.”

Credit Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News
Floris Lent, 99, paid tribute to Susan B. Anthony on Election Day. Lent is a descendant of the Anthony family.

Anthony was arrested in Rochester in 1872 for voting, which was illegal for women to do at the time. She was sentenced to pay a fine of $100 but never paid it. She wasn’t jailed for it, so she couldn't take her case to the Supreme Court.

Barbara Blaisdell has been a Susan B. Anthony impersonator for 30 years as part of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House.

“She carried on no matter what, and of course, her watchword was ‘failure is impossible,’ ” said Blaisdell. “So, I think about those kinds of things and it’s all been as a result of this wonderful, honorable thing that I do.”

Hundreds visited Anthony’s final resting place on Election Day. Some traveled from as far away as Utica; others brought their young daughters to acknowledge one of the women who made it possible for others to cast their ballots in this election.

Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.
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