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Parties bemoan campaign yard sign 'sabotage' in Sioux City
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Parties bemoan campaign yard sign 'sabotage' in Sioux City

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Campaign election signs 2014

Campaign signs of two Republican candidates and one Democratic candidate are shown along Lewis Boulevard in Sioux City in this November 2014 file photo.

SIOUX CITY -- The two major political parties in Woodbury County have combined to call out a high degree of vandalism that's impacting yard signs in the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

The Woodbury County Democratic and Republican political parties in a joint release said the signs are a longstanding part of campaigns and should be left alone. This time of fall is often a time of high vandalism to campaign signs, and 2020 is shaping up to be a bad year for that, said Democratic chairman Jeremy Dumkrieger and Republican chairwoman Suzan Stewart.

"We are seeing extraordinary levels of sign sabotage even this early in the election season. Signs are disappearing and being defaced throughout the county," they said.

Stewart and Dumkrieger said the election should play out with opportunities for candidates to reach people in many ways, so they urged "Woodbury County residents to leave the signs alone and let their neighbors exercise their free speech rights."

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They added, "Yard signs are not cheap and represent a significant investment by candidates."

The slate of offices going before voters include the presidency, congressional seat, legislative and county positions.

Back in 2004, the two county chairmen also jointly urged people to stop vandalizing signs, when it reportedly was happening in large fashion. A Sioux City Police Department official said most of the sign vandalism is the work of kids, including a spike that occurs during the fall school homecoming celebrations.

A person could be charged with criminal mischief for vandalizing a sign, fifth-degree theft for stealing a sign or even reckless use of fire in the cases where some have been set on fire. The party officials that year reported a Congressman Steve King sign being burned, while a John Kerry for president sign was set aflame.

From 2016: Police say 7 arrested in Storm Lake for theft of Donald Trump signs
The friendship of Betty Strong and Joe Biden: 'If I know my mother, she picked him'
Trump team bus tour in Sioux City warns Democrats want 'chaos'
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