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Celebrating 100 years of women's suffrage in NYS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - November 6, 2017 marks the 100th year anniversary of  women’s suffrage in New York State.

Susan B. Anthony was at the head of the movement. On November 5, 1872 she and fourteen other women marched down what is now Main Street to cast their vote.

It was a 70 year-long journey to suffrage.

According to Deborah Hughes, president of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, it was a battle that wouldn’t end until women had a voice at the ballet box.

“She believed that every single person who was a citizen should have the right and the power to vote and she didn't think we could be the democracy we could be until that was true,” said Hughes.

New York State became the first state east of the Mississippi to ratify suffrage for women in 1917.

Now Hughes says there are more women running for office this year than any previous years. She says people thought women didn’t belong in politics.

“People didn't think women were capable or competent enough, but for some religious folks they thought that women were responsible for the down fall of all humanity and therefore you couldn't trust a women,” said Hughes.

Some feel that we still aren’t where we should be, even 100 years later.

“It’s taken its time however for women to have an opportunity to run for office and be leaders in government and business," said William Mackenzie, who is for gender equality. "It's only recently we are seeing the glass ceiling kind of getting broken through."

With Election Day on the way, Hughes urges not just women but everyone to get involved and cast their votes.

To learn more, visit www.ny.gov/suffrage.

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