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In election year, Halloween gets political

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(CNN) -- In this high-stakes election, Americans are making use of every available opportunity to get the word out about the candidates and issues. For some, that means making Halloween political.

Oliver Smith and Matt Fett created these impressive pumpkin portraits of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

Oliver Smith and Matt Fett created these impressive pumpkin portraits of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

Many of these people shared their Halloween politicking on A few of them, like Mark Weyermuller of Wilmette, Illinois, have gone all-out, turning their yards into full-on political displays. Weyermuller's features life-size figures of Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin, and he says he's waiting for his Joe Biden mask to arrive in the mail. He also has a sign up -- held by a witch, appropriately -- that reads "Witch do you like for vice-president?"

"We do this every year with current event figures," said Weyermuller, adding that "The political characters tend to scare the neighbors and the kids more then most traditional ghosts and goblins."

Weyermuller even added a figure of Joe the plumber to the lawn after the final presidential debate.

"He is now the star of the election, Halloween and this front yard," he said. A political yard for Halloween

Melissa Cruson's family builds a giant spider web in their Colleyville, Texas, yard each year for Halloween. But this year, they decided to give it a political twist at her daughter's suggestion.

"While buying the supplies that we needed for the web, my daughter, who is in the sixth grade, mentioned that 'this year we should put Obama and Hillary in the web!' We thought it was a great idea and went with it," she said.

So this year, in addition to the traditional giant spiders, the Cruson family's web features a smiling John McCain sitting in front of the web, where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are trapped.

"The comical part of this [is that] my husband and I are just about as nonpolitical as you can get," Cruson said. "Yet it appears that we have made a pretty loud political statement this year with this display and the attention it has received. But we do know that this is a very critical election for our country."

Cruson said her family continuously receives visitors who want to pose for photos with the political web. Staffers at the local Republican headquarters even heard about the display and "went crazy over it." Caught in a political web

Perhaps the most elaborate political Halloween display we've seen on can only be seen from the air. Baggenstos Farms in Sherwood, Oregon, created a corn maze with the theme "Election 2008." The maze features likenesses of McCain and Obama along with the candidates' names and the word "vote."

Greg Hughes, who is studying to become a pilot, was on a training flight near Portland, Oregon, when he spotted the display. He grabbed his video camera to capture the maze as his instructor flew the plane.

"Now that's a yard sign!" said one of the commenters on Hughes' iReport. A political crop circle?

Other iReporters are displaying their candidate of choice on Halloween in simpler ways. Political pumpkins displaying the candidates' names, likenesses, and slogans are becoming popular with Democrats and Republicans in the days before the election.

Matt Fett of Ames, Iowa -- who clearly has some experience in pumpkin carving -- created a portrait of Palin for his jack-o'-lantern this year. He says he likes to carve "something that's relevant" each year, and as a Republican, carved Mitt Romney last year. A Sarah Palin pumpkin

Oliver Smith of Tulsa, Oklahoma, carved an equally professional-looking pumpkin portrait of Obama.

"Basically, I just found a picture of him that I liked, tweaked it to find the parts to cut, carbon copied it to the pumpkin, then chiseled away parts of the skin," he said. "The whole process took about 4 hours."


Unfortunately, he says, squirrels chewed his jack-o'-lantern to bits just hours after he completed it. But Smith, who supports Obama in the election, says he's not giving up on a political Halloween.

"I plan on making another closer to Halloween," he said. "But I'm not giving the squirrels any more food until then." 'Pumpkins for change'

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