The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 10, 2012

Don't steal election signs


DANVILLE — This year’s presidential election appears to be shaping into a highly partisan — translation: nasty — one. Sadly, it’s almost what we’ve come to expect these days.

We expect to see differences in opinion. From the earliest days of the United States, politics has sparked divisions among people.

George Washington enjoyed unanimous support during his first election, and we’ve slid far downhill since then.

Differences of opinion, however, should be respected.

Some people have decided they want to snuff out the free speech of others they disagree with by stealing campaign signs from neighbors’ yards.

We received a couple of calls from the city’s north side about President Obama campaign signs being taken from yards.

There are sure to be Mitt Romney supporters out there who can say the same thing.

In any case, it should not be condoned by anyone on either side.

Campaign signs fall under the right of free speech, which is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution along with the right assemble, the right to petition government, religious freedom and freedom of the press.

Stealing another’s campaign sign does little other than make the victim even more devout toward his or her candidate and work even harder to convert others to their point of view.

And it just makes the thief look stupid.

Stealing campaign signs is more than a prank. If anyone sees it happening, they should call the police.

Everyone should have the opportunity to express their views without them disappearing during the night.