By Laurie Stone
With 11 days remaining until Election Day, political rallies and public demonstrations are intensifying as supporters voice their choice for candidacy.
A concern across the nation, and Portales, is the destruction of political signs placed in yards and on the homes of political supporters.
Although both the Republican and Democratic parties are being affected by the vandalism, signs for Democratic candidates have taken the hardest hit in Portales.
Andrew Mason, a coordinator for Upward Bound at Eastern New Mexico University, said he had a sign supporting the Democratic Party in his yard for two weeks before it was stolen.
“I had the sign in my yard because I want people to know there’s another voice in this area besides the Republican voice,” said Mason.
Mason added that he was putting gasoline in his car one day and discovered that someone had put a magnetic Bush bumper sticker on his car.
Pointing his finger at Republicans, Mason said the motivational factor behind the stolen political signs is fear.
“They’re afraid change is coming and Bush will be (voted) out,” he said.
Marshal Stinnett, a local coordinator for the Bush campaign, said the problem of vandalism occurs with every election whether its a city, county or national election.
Saying the vandalism is not a power struggle between the parties, Stinnett said Republicans stealing or destroying their opponents signs would only make their opponents more determined to prove their point.
“It’s usually kids doing the vandalizing,” he said.
Since time is running out for political parties to persuade voters on a candidate, some activists are pulling out all the stops to bring awareness to the community concerning their candidate.
Corey Hadland posted his political party sign at the top of a house he is remodeling on South Avenue F.
“I’m not worried about someone tearing it down,” he said. “If they do, I’ll just put another one up.”
Linda Moyer, a custodian at Floyd Schools, echoed a common sentiment: vandalism won’t dissuade a voter.
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, stealing someone’s political signs does not rob them of their vote,” said Moyer.
To put and end to the vandalizing of Democrat signs, the Friends for Democracy has posted a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension and arrest of anyone found stealing or damaging the Kerry/Edward signs; to submit information, call 359-1008 and leave a message.