WITH just days to go until Orange voters go to the polls to elect new councillors for the next four years, competition between candidates is heating up with election campaign signs springing up around town.
But for some, the election campaign has turned nasty with reports of signs being torn down and threats made to supporters of candidates.
Cr Sam Romano said an elderly supporter who agreed to display a corflute sign in his frontyard received a threatening phone call.
“He’s living by himself and his 83 years old,” he said. “They threatened him and said ‘take it out or else’.”
“What sort of election is this?
“He won’t come forward because he’s scared for his life.”
Two more of Cr Romano’s signs placed on private property in Hill Street were also stolen over the weekend - behaviour he describes as “disgusting”.
“I had permission and they’ve both been removed,” he said. “To those responsible if they’re that desperate look out.”
While he was unsure if other candidates were the culprits he said it was unethical for anyone to remove the signs.
Candidates could risk prosecution if they fail to follow the rules surrounding election advertising.
Signs for Cr Romano have also been spotted on power poles on Racecourse Road and Molong Road.
An Essential Energy spokeswoman said the placement of posters and signs for any purpose was prohibited.
“Essential Energy does not authorise the placement of posters on power poles, no matter what the content, for safety reasons,” she said.
“Access to the electricity network and the display of visual advertising are matters regulated by law.”
Cr Romano said he was unaware of the rule and would remove the signs.
“They were put up by one of my constituents,” he said. “I think people need to know who is running.
“At the state election Andrew Gee had his signs on power poles near the Driver Reviver.
“If they’re going to enforce it they have to enforce it for everyone.”
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said candidates were able to use election signs five weeks prior to the election but all signage had to be removed one week after the election under state laws.