Campaign signs vandalized across Augusta

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September 29, 2006

A definite sign of election season are the banners with every candidate's name lining the roadway.

But while candidates are taking aim to be Augusta's mayor, their signs are becoming a target for vandals.

Many signs that are going up...are quickly coming down.

Bernice Hall works with the Steve Kendrick mayoral campaign, and she's also his aunt. She was surprised to find dozens of his signs along Golden Camp Road ripped right up.

"We will keep putting them up," she said. "As they knock them down, we'll put them up."

But it's not just the Kendrick campaign getting knocked. We found other candidates' signs laying low...and one flying high in a tree.

And it's not just signs being ripped out of yards. In fact, at Lillie's Beauty Store on Milledgeville Road, it appears someone just shot right through a sign.

"I think people have nothing else to do with their time," said store worker Patricia Cullin. "They just want to come around and vandalize campaign signs, or it might not be a candidate they like."

It was this time last year we saw the same type of vandalism, as then-Commissioner Bobby Hankerson questioned his opponent Calvin Holland after finding dozens of his signs kicked to the curb.

And with several heated races on the ballot in November, the candidates are asking the vandals to cool it.

"We need to keep this race above board, keep it to the high ground," said incumbent Deke Copenhaver. "So I would ask the entire community, please don't take part in pulling up signs--whether it's my signs or any other candidate's signs."

While it may seem small, if you are caught vandalizing a sign, you could face criminal trespass charges. It's a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in jail or a fine.