The closer it gets to the election, the more political signs there seem to be “popping up,” and according to election officials, the more concerned people get about them. One sign in particular in Des Moines seems to be having that affect.
The sing in front of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ that says “Vote to save the unborn” is drawing attention, and not just for what it says. The church is a polling location this coming election, which has some citizens concern about a conflict of interest, among other things.
But church leaders said the sign serves as an important message for their community and congregation.
“I believe I have a specific role in helping my congregation filter all their life through the lens of the word of God,” said Mike Demastus Pastor of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, “ This isn`t election day, and we`re not doing anything we shouldn`t be doing. Of course we have a message out there, very consistent with other messages that we`ve had and that is this is what God's word says about whatever issue it is.”
Election officials agree that the church isn't doing anything wrong.
“We can’t dictate what they do for 365 days, but we do have an agreement that one day that nothing is out there that could be viewed as pro or con a candidate or an issue,” said Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald.
The county auditor continued, saying that on Election Day all signs have to be at least 300 feet away from the property, and the same thing goes for electioneering. But up until that day, there’s nothing they can do about it.
“If it's on Election Day obviously we will work with the individuals that have those signs. We do a good job of policing those areas,” said Fitzgerald.
Pastor Demastus says he's aware of that, and has every intention of following those rules, come Election Day.
“I don`t tell anybody how to vote for this issue. We are just saying this is what God’s word would say about this issue,” said Demastus.
This close to the election, the Polk County Auditor's office gets a lot of phone calls about issues like this, and a lot of questions. Fitzgerald says they are all welcome. They have also seen a lot of voting so far- a record amount. According to Fitzgerald, as of today, more than 75,000 people have voted early - that’s 3,000 more than 4 years ago.