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Protective covering put over Susan B. Anthony’s gravestone

The City of Rochester has devised a plan to protect Susan B. Anthony’s grave and keep a new tradition alive.

In 2016, thousands of people flocked to Mount Hope Cemetery on Election Day to place “I Voted” stickers on Anthony’s grave, inspired by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. This year, California Sen. Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman of color on a major presidential ticket. Powerful chemicals were used to remove the stickers. 

“Well, the concern is that over time,” said City Communications Director Justin Roj, "the placement and the removal of the adhesive, will add to the erosion of the headstone, and certainly just as a precautionary measure, they’ve put that in place.”

In order to protect the stone, Roj said they’ve put a protective cover over the gravestones of Anthony and her sister Mary.

Susan B. Anthony's gravestone on Labor Day 2020.
Credit Scott Pitoniak / Provided
Susan B. Anthony's gravestone on Labor Day 2020.

“We’re prepared,” continued Roj. “We’re going to make it so that people can come pay their respects. We’re also going to have easels and thank-you cards so that we can have other ways other than placing the sticker on the covered gravestone to pay your respects.”

The city is also adding extra lighting, restrooms and markers to remind people to maintain social distancing. If a long line develops, they plan to direct traffic as well. 

The gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, including Election Day, Nov. 3.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Copyright 2020 WXXI News

Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.