Political signs should be left alone

Seeing the number of political yard signs increase is one of the surest signs – pun fully intended – that an election is nearing.

This year is no different.

With very important votes coming up for local offices such as judge, school board, treasurer and others, it’s refreshing to see so many folks in our area taking enough of an interest in our local government to prominently display items in support of their candidates of choice or legitimately criticizing an opponent.

Unfortunately, as with just about anything these days, there are those who can take things too far. There have been numerous instances reported to us of misguided souls, in their passion for getting their favorite person elected, stealing signs from others’ properties. We’ve also heard of some folks finding unsolicited election materials appearing in their yards.

While most in our democratic society can agree that people should be free to express whatever opinions they like without having to worry about others stealing from them, we would like to remind any would-be thieves that taking yard signs – like any form of theft – is not only wrong, but illegal.

Additionally, going onto someone’s property without their permission solely to display unsolicited materials is not only wrong, but illegal.

We feel strongly that elections should be decided by the merits of the candidates, not because someone tried to quash the expression of support or criticism of someone pursuing office.

We also feel strongly that those who steal from others should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you have had any election materials stolen, we encourage you to contact your local police department or state police to report it.