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MEEKER — In the weeks and days leading up to an election, political signs usually start popping up in yards and along roadways.
But, instead, they were disappearing.
It was recently brought to the attention of Town Manager Sharon Day that a number of local political signs were missing.
Rather than political shenanigans between candidates, though, the theft of the signs was a juvenile prank.
“I think it was just kids who thought it would be fun,” Day said. “Probably nobody meant any malice.”
In fact, the stolen signs were pretty equally divided between Republican candidates Forrest Nelson and Kai Turner, who are running for a Rio Blanco County Commissioner seat in the Aug. 12 primary election.
“I don’t think it had anything to do (with the election),” Day said.
The sign stealers did have a sense of humor. They returned the signs by stacking them in Day’s front lawn.
“They all ended up coming back in one big pile in my yard,” the town manager said.
Prank or no prank, stealing political signs is a serious matter.
“The offense is a misdemeanor,” said Nancy Amick, county clerk and recorder, “with a fine of up to $750, which appears to not include the replacement cost of the material.”
So, how did the signs end up in the town manager’s yard?
“I think the word probably got around (that stealing election signs is a crime),” said Day, who added the signs were then returned to the people who had put them out in the first place.
And the signs have been standing ever since.
“I’ve driven around,” Day said, “and they are still there.”