As election nears, Shore sees increase in campaign sign vandalism

October 20, 2020

A contentious presidential campaign has prompted several instances of election sign-related vandalism on the Eastern Shore in recent days, and one person has been charged after an incident in Exmore.

An Accomack County man was charged with a misdemeanor count of defacing and damaging a four-foot by eight-foot campaign for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence positioned near Lankford Highway at the former Fresh Pride grocery store.

Exmore Police Chief Angelo DiMartino said the suspect was seen covering up the word “Pence” with stickers that made the sign read “Putin,” in the same color and font, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The incident happened at around 2 p.m. Oct. 13, and was observed by a witness, who followed the suspect, wrote down his license number and “passed him to see the person,” DiMartino said. When the offending sticker was removed, part of the sign was damaged. does not customarily report the names of people charged with a misdemeanor.

Chincoteague Police Chief Robby Fisher said graffiti that read “Trump 2020,” and referred to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with an expletive, was found at the landmark gravesite of Capt. Joshua Chandler.

There was also spray-paint graffiti on a piece of shoreline riprap.

Fisher said police have been notified about vandalism or theft to several signs.

In most cases, “Biden signs are vandalized; the Trump signs are taken,” Fisher said.

He said Chincoteague police are seeking suspects in the graffiti incidents.


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