Currituck Democrats, Republicans condemn sign thefts, defacing in joint statement

Campaign signs line the roadside at the corner of N.C. 168 and Courthouse Road in Currituck. [Sam Walker photo]

Currituck County’s two major political parties issued a joint statement Tuesday following recent reports of campaign signs either being stolen or defaced.

In North Carolina, it is a class 3 misdemeanor for a person to steal, deface, vandalize or unlawfully remove a political sign that is lawfully placed, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 days in jail and a $200 fine.

state law passed in 2011 ​allows campaign signs to be placed in the state road right of way as early as 30 days before the start of early voting, which starts on Oct. 15.

The Democratic and Republican parties of Currituck’s leadership is increasingly concerned with the removal and vandalism of candidate signs. It is discouraging and counterproductive to candidates and those who provide financial support, but it also tarnishes our county’s image.

We indeed have differing political philosophies. But we are united in respecting those differences. Understanding those differences is what makes our country, state and county such a wonderful place to live.

The childish acts of a few degrades the Board of Elections’ positive efforts to administer fair elections. It hampers the work of both parties to provide information to the voter.

Be aware the Currituck County Sheriff’s Department is on the lookout for the activity. Both parties will seek the criminal prosecution of all who get caught.

In the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, the Democratic and Republican Parties of Currituck County condemn this destructive behavior and ask for your support in this position by reporting suspicious activity.

Thank you, and please remember to go vote!

There are restrictions regarding signs placed in the right-of-way, according to the NCDOT. They include:

  • Whoever places a sign is required to get the permission of any property owner of a residence, business or religious institution fronting the right of way where a sign would be placed;
  • No sign is permitted in the right of way of a limited-access highway such as an interstate;
  • No sign can be closer than 3 feet from the edge of the pavement of the road;
  • No sign can obscure motorist visibility at an intersection;
  • No sign can be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement;
  • No sign can be larger than 864 square inches; and
  • No sign can obscure or replace another sign.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has the authority to remove any signs that violate these rules. If anyone else removes or vandalizes a sign, they could be subject to a Class 3 misdemeanor citation from law enforcement.

Campaign signs can remain in place for 10 days after the Nov. 3 election. Signs still in the right of way after the deadline are in violation of state law, and the NCDOT is authorized to remove and dispose of them.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.