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Sign swiping: Enough, already

It happens every election season in New Hampshire. It happens in races for every office from selectman to President. Someone removes political signs that belong to someone else. The Attorney General's Office needs to curb it.

The latest episode - caught on video, as so many are these days - comes from Candia, where an activist named Eric Shifflett caught Selectman Fred Kelley parked near some political signs while several belonging to Shifflett sat in Kelley's truck. Kelley admitted taking the signs and said he legally could because the signs were illegal.

The law, however, spells out exactly who has the authority to remove illegal signs. Selectmen are not on the list.

These juvenile shenanigans are penny ante stuff, as far as political misdeeds go. But in small, local races it is possible that sign swiping can affect the outcome.

Such misbehavior is not going to stop entirely. But the Attorney General's Office can dampen activists' misguided enthusiasm for it by prosecuting some high-profile cases. It is a nuisance that should be curbed.

Eric Church
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