Political signs around Topeka stolen, regulations limited weeks before election

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As election day gets closer, political signs are beginning to fill up neighborhoods and streets. But some also believe it’s bringing tension as signs continue to be stolen around the U.S.

A Topeka woman has had to replace her political signs about every other day.

“It’s frustrating,” Ksenija Zeltkalns said. “I realize having democratic candidate signs in my yard may not make it through the election season.”

She isn’t the only one. After talking with many people around town, theft of political signs seems to be a problem with both parties.

Shawnee County Election Office officials said they have heard about the issue, but it is not something they’re allowed to regulate.

“I would certainly discourage anyone from doing such activities. It’s not very good for the election process,” said Steve Southerland, a technical specialist with the election office.

The city and county can’t control the placement or number of political signs 45 days prior to any election, as well as two days after. Many voters choose to put the signs in their yard in order to create a basic awareness.

“Some voters are just not very involved but they still want to know who to vote for,” Zeltkalns said.

Stealing political signs is a crime to some degree in all 50 states. In Kansas, it’s a misdemeanor and it’s also a crime to trespass on private property.

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