Picking up a stack of Mitt Romney signs isn't what Sarah Manzella had in mind one day before the election. But she's not letting thieves steal her right to free speech.
"The first time I had one Romney sign and it got taken out and replaced with one Obama sign. So then I came back and we got three more signs, and then they got taken out and replaced with six Obama signs," said Manzella.
"This is a highly motivated populous that's really excited about the election and so some of them express themselves in a bad way," said Habeeb Habeeb, Champaign County Republican Committee Chairman.
And neither side is innocent.
"Some signs always get taken or smeared with something usually during Halloween. But this year has just been off the charts," said Eva Jehle, Champaign County Democrats office manager.
And it's proving to be costly. Both committees estimate that thousands of dollars in signs have been stolen or vandalized this season.
"I just think it's kind of immature to be taking someone's signs that people put money into to support who they want to vote for," said Manzella.
She made another donation to get new signs. Although it's not required, she says it's just another way to support her candidates. Both sides say a lot of theft victims have been doing the same.
It's the kind of patriotism they're excited to see. And one thing both parties can agree on; snatching signs needs to stop.
"It's just so un-American," said Jehle.
"This is America. Both sides out of respect, let's have an expression, freedom of expression and talk about our differences rather than steal signs," added Habeeb.
Stealing signs isn't just a nuisance. It's a crime. Anyone caught doing so could be charged with theft.