Sign vandalisms, thefts on rise ahead of vote on constitutional amendment

As the Aug. 2 primary election approaches, Kansans are seeing an increase in political signs across the state being defaced, destroyed or plucked from yards.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -As the Aug. 2 primary election approaches, Kansans are seeing an increase in political signs across the state being defaced, destroyed or plucked from yards. The signs reflect views on an issue voters on both sides feel strongly about as Kansas voters get to decide the fate of abortion rights in the state by voting on an amendment to the state constitution. In yards across the state, Kansans display signs with messages that either say “yes,” or “no,” in response to the Value Them Both Amendment.

Sedgwick County explained the amendment in relaying information about the Aug. 2 special election held in conjunction with the primary election.

“A vote for the Value Them Both Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion,” Sedgwick County explained. A vote against the Value Them Both Amendment would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas, and could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.”

The sign thefts emphasize how strongly some feel about the Aug. 2 vote.

In Wichita, Ryan Allen said after his first “Vote Yes” sign was stolen, he decided to put two out in its place. Then, someone stole both of them. He said thieves also targeted a neighbor’s “Vote Yes,” sign.

“We also found another sign out on our lawn that was the opposite of ours. So, those three things have happened so far,” he said.

In Salina, David Norton said sign thefts and vandalism is a problem to both “Vote Yes” and “Vote No” signs.

In Hesston, Kansas Rep. Stephen Owens said it’s bene an issue in his neighborhood and across the town.

“One of the yard signs I put out at my neighbor’s house on the corner, literally the same day, that very night about 4 a.m., somebody came by and took it,” he said. “Their doorbell camera actually captured that. Turns out whoever the individual was took ‘Value Them Both’ signs from all around town.

Victims of the vandalism and thefts say instead of defacing of stealing property, those strong feelings should act as motivation to vote on Aug. 2.

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