Submitted by Gregory L. Alderete.
Local primaries and elections are upon us. Candidates and civic-minded volunteers are going door to door, at local farmers’ markets, and placing campaign signs within the voting districts. Each one of those signs cost the candidate about five dollars. When you steal one, you are stealing from the candidate and those who donated to support their campaign. These local campaigns are run on a tight limited budget where every dollar counts. Candidate Elizabeth Grasher has had 20 signs stolen, each must be replaced out of campaign donations. Make no mistake this is not a political issue it is a crime.
Those responsible should not be surprised, when caught, they are in violation of Washington State Law RCW 9A. 20.021. “A person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a punishable misdemeanor. The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation.” A conviction can result in serious penalties including fines and/or jail time. Being charged with any crime, including a misdemeanor, can negatively affect your life.
Aside from the cost and inconvenience, stealing signs undermines democracy and freedom of speech. As a professional therapist, Elizabeth Grasher works with veterans and active duty service members at JBLM. Those who took an oath to support and defend the constitution and the protection of free speech.
If you witness any suspicious activity involving this type of crime, please report it to your police department.