MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Midterm elections are approaching, and many people choose to place political signs in their yards to voice their support for a candidate. Local law enforcement is taking some time ahead of the elections to remind people vandalizing or stealing these signs is a crime.
Madison County Sheriff Public Information Officer Sergeant Isaac Payne says it may take time away for other things that need their attention as well.
"We have to kind of address that and investigate those things, which takes away time and resources that we could be using on other things in the county. So we wanted to kind of get ahead of that and preach a little bit of respect for our neighbors, for our community, and make this political season a little bit easier than ones in the past," he said.
He encourages people to continue to be neighborly to others if they have differing political views from your own.
"Be kind to each other. And even though you may not, you know, view things the same way or agree with their position, we can still be respectful. We could still be neighborly to those people."
He says if you do have a differing view on which candidate is best instead of committing a crime which depending on the severity of the damage could be a felony, the best thing to do is use your ability to vote.
"I know that's hard for people. We live in a world that's very polarized and politicized, but we can have those conversations like if you have a valid viewpoint, have that conversation with that other person, and if you really want to speak your mind, go out and vote. You know, voter turnout historically isn't always the best, but we can make a difference with every vote that we cast."
He says to those putting up the signs, just make sure its on your property and make sure that, "it's not blocking the view of traffic. That's a big one sometimes too, like we talked about near Highway 20. So those are some guidance for when you're putting up signs and if something should happen to your sign, you can report it to us. You can call into dispatch, you can go to our website, Madison Sheriff dot com and report it that way as well and we'll investigate it."
Payne adds to those who may want to damage the signs just be aware that, in many cases you may be caught on camera, which will only aid in their ability to find the person behind the vandalism.