Political signs go missing

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
According to Newton police, political signs go missing during every election cycle -- and both major party candidates are affected.

Marge Roberson, a former candidate, city commissioner and county commissioner, is disappointed by what happened at her house this week.

Political signs were taken from her front yard — signs she said she and her husband put close to the house to try and prevent theft or vandalism. She sees it as a symptom of a bigger disease.

“We have had them out for two to three weeks. We had two of them close to the house, because we were concerned,” Roberson said. “ ... What I am really concerned about is how you can’t really hardly talk about politics without someone absolutely going off. I don’t like the way things are going like that. It is so mean and hateful.”

She has had signs for multiple candidates go missing — presidential and U.S. Senate candidates.

“Every election cycle we have this,” said Lt. Scott Powell, of the Newton Police Department. “We have had Biden signs and Trump signs. ... Both sides think they are targeted. It is usually pretty equal.”

There is not a strong statistic as to how many political signs have gone missing this year — nor the party affiliation of the candidates whose signs have gone missing.

That is because, according to Powell, the number of calls received by the department of a missing sign and the owner not wanting to file a formal report.

“A lot of people call and say ’I don’t want to make a report, but my ... sign was stolen,’“ Powell said. ”They usually do not have suspect information, either. This is a typical election cycle as far as what we are seeing.“

Powell said it is usually worse during a presidential election, though there have been problems for local candidates in the past.

“They are treated like a theft like anything else out of your yard,” Powell said.