Candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties have reported having political signs stolen around Putnam County recently. Some McCain/Palin signs were even burned.
"I heard from Nancy Fogle that all of the McCain/Palin signs on Gardenside Drive were burned," commented Larry Sutton, chairman of the Republican Party.
"I did call the sheriff and he is looking into it. But unless somebody sees something how can you do anything?" he asked.
Sutton also reported that the State picked up a lot of their signs on U.S. 40. Many of them were moved when people mowed and left in the right of way. When that happens, Sutton says he just goes to the highway garage and picks up all their signs and brings them back.
"But we don't ever encourage anyone to take signs and I'm sure the other party does not do that either," said Sutton.
Bud Sharp, Democratic treasurer told the Banner Graphic he heard reports to the central committee of some candidates signs being taken from yards as well.
"Sometimes it's the state who has the right to take them if they are in the right of way. They take them to the State garage in Cloverdale and throw them in a pile behind the building. Candidates can pick them up if they want to go through the pile," said Sharp.
The loss of signs is both expensive and time consuming for the people running for office. Signs cost about $7.
"Not only are the signs expensive but it takes time to find people to let you put them in their yards," said Sharp.
"The problem candidates run into is not knowing where the rights of way are. They are not always clearly marked and sometimes they come right down to the edge of a field or yard. If that's the case the state or county can take the signs," added Sharp.
Terry Clifford has had signs stolen from a large grouping. He reported that a friend chased down a white van that was removing his signs.
Sharp told a story about having signs stolen a few years ago and finding them tossed in cornfields. He reported it to a county law enforcement agency.
Most candidates do lose some signs during a campaign and most have reported that to the central committee.
"It's ridiculous if people are just stealing certain candidates signs," commented Sharp.
"It's seems it is something we all have to live with," added Sutton.