MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. -- The campaign for the November elections is once again heating up in the most obvious of places – local front yards and street corners.
Yes, it’s time for the battle of the yard signs.
“It's just that time of year,” said MeckGOP volunteer Matt Rowell. “Signs go missing and get damaged.”
Rowell pointed out the sea of signs in front of the Independence branch library on Conference Drive. Some were torn from their metal frames, another sign – and anti-Obama sign – was ripped to pieces and thrown around.
“Signs right here have been plucked right up gone missing,” he said, walking across the lawn. “This sign appears to be totally destroyed.”
Rowell pointed out that the damaged signs were almost exclusively for Republican candidates. The Mecklenburg Republican Party posted the photos on its Facebook page and got more than a dozen responses in a few short hours.
“You kind of get a little angry inside and have to keep your emotions in check,” he said, “and use those emotions when you go into the voting booth.”
Rowell knows it would be easy to place blame, but it happening to Democrats too.
Mecklenburg Democrats first vice-chair Gautam Desai noticed several signs he put out on the road have been damaged or stolen.
“That’s a cheap shot, its counterproductive,” he said, talking about the damage.
“Where it is easy to do vandalism, people will do that,” he said. Desai said the damage robs people of being educated about the candidates.
“If not for this you would probably see more persuasion more education through signs where it really matters,” he said.
Both sides don’t blame an organized effort by the opposition, and don’t think retaliation is a wise course.
“I do not want to start a sign a war,” they both said. “That's the last thing we need because that benefits no one,” Rowell added.
“You are making some people angry and they are going to work three times harder to replace those signs and get some more votes, so that's never a good strategy,” Desai agreed.
Besides, if you’re caught, you can be cited for a misdemeanor and fined several hundred dollars.