In recent weeks, area residents have noted the defacing of political signs, including those of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Most notably is the large Romney sign on Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard at Winkelmeyer Plaza that was defaced with words against the candidate. And Patch blogger Amy Leahy writes that there have been several others.
"Obviously people are upset that this happened," said Scott Shaffer, an elected member of the Republican State Central Committee. "The campaign spent a lot of money and effort getting the signs up so they don’t like seeing them defaced or torn down."
Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said only one sign-defacing incident was reported to police on Sept. 26.
Mulcahy said officers responded to a home in the 500 block of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard for a vandalism complaint.
“The homeowner said he gave permission to have a Mitt Romney political sign placed on his property,” Mulcahy wrote in an email to Patch. “That sign was then spray painted, possibly the previous day.”
Mulcahy said no other incidents regarding political signs have been reported. However, vandalizing the signs is a crime, and those impacted can report it to the police.
Despite the vandalism, Shaffer said he does not think supporters will consider moving their candidates' signs—especially along B&A Boulevard.
"It is just about reaching as many people as you can and there is a reason those sites are chosen for signs in the first place," Shaffer said.
This is not the first time the area has experienced a problem when it comes to political signs being stolen or vandalized.
In March, County Executive John Leopold was indicted on criminal misconduct charges stemming from allegations that he used police officers to trash his opponent's campaign signs before the 2010 election. Joanna Conti was the Democrat who ran against Leopold two years ago.
The problem isn't just local to Anne Arundel County: Romney signs have been defaced in other parts of the country as well. Fox 8 in Greensboro, NC, reported that several Romney and Paul Ryan signs were vandalized at a local park.
The vandalism doesn’t stop at just Republican candidate signs. On Sept. 25, the Huffington Post reported that a Barack Obama sign had been vandalized with “racially insensitive and vulgar language” in Texas.
A call to Sarah Flynn, founding president of the District 30 Democratic Club, was not yet returned.
Have you noticed political sings being vandalized in Severna Park? If you saw the defaced signs would you report them to the police? Tell us in the comments.