Two years ago, Lansing and Newfield were plagued by a wave of political sign stealing. This year, the Freeville listserve is abuzz with complaints from citizens whose signs supporting Community Solar have been removed from their properties. Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer reports that his campaign signs have been removed multiple times from a Dryden business along Route 13. "I put them back up, and they're gone within 24 hours."

"Aside from that kind of thing being unethical," says District Attorney Matt Van Houten, "it is absolutely illegal." According to Van Houten, stealing signs from a residential or commercial property is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, probation for three years, or a fine up to $1,000. Even damaging a campaign sign is considered Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, also a Class A misdemeanor.

"Interfering in the electoral process," Van Houten states, "is something that is absolutely abhorrent and will be prosecuted if we have evidence that an individual has committed one of these crimes."