Vandals strike

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of overnight vandalism.

Sheriff John Holley said he received a call Wednesday morning concerning damage done to a large sign touting the reelection bid of President Barack Obama.

The political ad, which is located near the Welcome to Windsor sign across from Walker Funeral Home, was vandalized sometime Tuesday night, according to the Sheriff.

“I have said before that we will not tolerate the vandalism of any candidate’s signs,” Holley said. “It is a misdemeanor for someone to damage the signs and we intend to prosecute anyone who commits this crime.”

Holley sent officers to the scene Wednesday morning and the investigation has just begun.

Ironically, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald published a story Tuesday concerning the vandalism of political signs. That story provided details of the issues with stealing or vandalizing a political sign.

Roanoke-Chowan Publications contacted the North Carolina Board of Elections, asking what law applied to such unwarranted removal of campaign signs.

According to a reply from Don Wright, General Counsel for the NC State Board of Elections, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor for the unlawful removal (steal) such signs or to deface or vandalize the same, as written in State General Statute 136-32.

As far as the legal placement of a campaign is concerned, the same statute says they must be no closer than three feet from the each of a state maintained roadway; they cannot obscure the visibility of a motorist at an intersection, are not permitted to be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement, cannot be larger than 864 square inches and no campaign sign is permitted to obscure or replace another sign.

Generally, the placement of campaign signs on private property (with the permission of the owner) is allowed without restrictions.

Those witnessing the illegal removing of a campaign/political sign or question how they are placed along local roadways in regards to the aforementioned criteria are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency.