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'Suffragette' from Springetts urges voters in Continental Square

Bill Kalina
York Dispatch

Christine Cooper describes herself as “not typically a political person.”

“I don’t do yard signs,” the Springettsbury Township woman said. “I go on Election Day and quietly cast my ballot.”

“This year is different,” she said.

She has taken on the persona of a present-day suffragette to rally women to vote.

Christine Cooper of Springettsbury Township, left, talks with Roberta Johnson, a reverend with Friendship Baptist Church, and Roberta's granddaughter Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson, right, a political director with the Pa. Democratic Party, at Continental Square Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Cooper was dressed in 1920s-era clothing while urging women to vote. This year marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Bill Kalina photo

Her interest in historic clothing led her to an online, circa 1920, photo of a woman holding a sign that read “Women Use Your Vote.”

“It resonated with me,” she said, “because women weren’t given the right to vote, they fought for the right to vote.”

Women could first vote nationally in the general election 100 years ago, almost to the day, as this year’s election

Christine Cooper of Springettsbury Township holds a sign at Continental Square Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Cooper was dressed in 1920s-era clothing while urging women to vote. This year marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Bill Kalina photo

Cooper decided to become the woman in the photo.

A seamstress, she made a period outfit, created the sign and is spending a few hours at a time standing in York City's Continental Square during the election season. She is using vacation time, about 12 hours, away from her job at the York County History Center for the task.

She said her efforts are nonpartisan.

“I’m not telling anyone who to vote for, I’m just telling them to vote,” she said.

She’s planning to return to the square from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday and is inviting anyone to join her for a politically neutral, peaceful rally.

Election Day is Tuesday.