DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Issue 1 signs are allegedly being stolen and vandalized.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati says their organization has been hearing for weeks that their church properties were having signs stolen. After hearing about a vandalism that allegedly took place at Church of the Incarnation in Centerville, they found there have been more than a dozen reported incidents at churches, high schools and cemeteries across the state. 

“Yeah. The role that the church is playing and the opposition of issue one is stronger than recent years,” Jennifer Schack, director of media relations, Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati says the Church of the Incarnation had a Vote No on Issue 1 sign inside of the building. Someone marked “Vote Yes” in paint on the church’s window. 

Church officials saying this was the first incident they were notified about. 

“Once we heard that we were kind of a little more attuned to hearing it, the more churches were getting reports of this, as we heard a couple more come in, then we kind of didn’t all call people,” Schack said. “Can you let us know?”

The incidents have been increasing on church properties as Election Day inches closer. Issue 1 continues to draw many voters in favor and opposition.  

Schack says the church is not able to publicly support partisan politics, but is free to lobby for ballots, measures, or issues.  

“We’ve been obeying those, but at the same time recognizing that we do want to be a voice for the vote. And so we have been strong in that.”

Since Monday, the Archdiocese says they are still receiving alerts from parishes about incidents of vandalism to Vote No signs. So far, they say five churches have had signs removed, damaged, or thrown away, alongside five high schools, and three cemeteries. 

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati says any local churches that have experienced vandalism to their Issue 1 signs should reach out to the organization, especially if there has been property damage.