South Carolina Yard Sign Regulations

SouthCarolina-flagPlanning a political campaign should not be complicated. If you follow a few simple sign regulations and the rest of South Carolina’s campaign laws, you’ll stay focused on your campaign strategy not paying fines or dealing with political fallout. South Carolina has clear rules on what is allowed and what isn’t with before, during and after the campaign. For example, you may not put your sign closer than 500 feet from the highway.

Also, remember that your sign is your responsibility. You need to remove your campaign yard signs within 48 hours of the election or the South Carolina Department of Transportation will remove it.  Then, if you want it back, you will have to pay $1 for each square foot of the sign. If you don’t claim the sign, it will be discarded or even sold. Local laws may be a bit different from the state laws.

Aside from the ethical responsibility that you have to follow the law, as a candidate, you face political risks as well. Your political opponents and the media are always looking for something to discredit you. Don’t put it past them that they would pursue yard sign theft or other violations if they had the chance!

South Carolina Yard Sign Regulations

In South Carolina, it is illegal to place that obstructs the view of drivers to keep roadways safe. For the same reason, your sign should not hang on a tree or on rocks because it is unsafe for motorists.

Of course, it is illegal to vandalize or steal signs, but it still happens all of the time in South Carolina. If you don’t believe me, Google it! Violating a campaign sign is a misdemeanor and you could be fined up to $100, go to jail for 30 days, or both. It’s pretty hard to campaign from the klink!

You are not allowed to place campaign sign within five hundred feet from the nearest main traveled way. In rural places it is illegal to put up a sign within five hundred feet of an interchange or a rest area. Also, in rural places you are not allowed to place a sign within three hundred feet from on the same side of the highway. In municipalities, on the other hand, don’t post a sign less than one hundred feet apart on the same side of the highway.

Campaign signs may not exceed the maximum size of 672 square feet. You can use cutouts and other sign extension, but they will count towards your total square feet. That said, 672 is a pretty significant sign. Any sign that you would put on personal property won’t even come close.

SCDOTDon’t forget to remove your sign within 48 hours after the elections. If you don’t do this, Department of Transportation will remove your sign and you will have to pay $1 for each square foot of the sign. If nobody comes to pick the campaign within ten days after the removal, it will be thrown away or sold.

Local Yard Sign Regulations

In South Carolina, there are state, county and municipal ordinances you need to follow in order to lawfully place a campaign sign. These ordinances usually involve regulations that apply to size and shape of your sign. There may also be some additional laws on how long you can keep your sign on public or private property. Contact your local municipal government or police department for more information on local ordinances.

Some localities have their ordinance or an overview of it online. Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission, for example, outlines their local rules here. The Municipal Association of South Carolina has an online directory that’s useful to find contact information for the municipal and county governments in the state.

Conclusion

Campaign signs are an important part of many political campaigns since they build candidate name recognition. It is important that people can see your name and the office that you are running for if you need to build name ID, but if you don’t follow the state and local laws, SCDOT will remove you signs before anyone gets a chance!

Remember that you cannot place a sign less than 500 feet from the nearest highway in urban and rural places. In municipalities it is not allowed to put up signs less than 100 feet on the same side of the highway. You need to remove your sign 48 hours after the elections or it will be removed. Signs will also be removed if it obstructs the view of the drivers driving by.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

Delaware Yard Sign Regulations

Delaware flagLike any other organization, political campaigns need to market themselves to the people who will buy their product: voters. One way that candidates can market themselves to voters is with yard signs. However, there are certain parts of Delaware where it’s unlawful to post political signs, mostly because of safety reasons. If you play it smart and follow the instructions about where and under what circumstances you may place a sign in Delaware, voters will see your signs every day. If you don’t follow the rules, well, the Department of Transportation in Delaware will remove it and you will pay a fine. Also, you will also pay even more money to get your sign back.

Delaware Yard Sign Regulations

The Delaware Department of Transportation is enforcing laws designed to keep the state’s rights of way clear from illegal and dangerous signs. The places where signs are forbidden in Delaware are called the Clear Zone, and if you place a sign there, it will be removed by DelDOT staff.  Exemptions are signs posted during a period of 30 days before and 30 days after an election, in a district in which an election is held.

Not only will your sign be removed from the Clear Zone if it is not posted within the boundaries of your district and within the regulated timeframe, sign owners must pay a fine of $25 per sign in violation and a recovery fee of $15 per sign to get your signs back. Confiscated signs are disposed after 30 days, and the fines still apply.

Signs on private property, on the other hand, are a different matter from a legal perspective. For obvious reasons, DelDOT recommends that you get the property owner’s permission to post your sign on their property. Signs on private property do not have the time or location restrictions that signs do in the Clear Zone. Supporters can post signs in their yards more than 30 days in advance of the election and if there is a highly visible spot just outside the district, you can post it there just the same so long as it’s on private property.

On Election Day, your campaign will want to post signs at polling places to increase your campaigns visibility in addition to canvassers, phone bankers, and volunteers at the polls. The Delaware Department of Transportation recommends that you get permission to those your signs at the polling place beforehand. Also, be sure to make arrangements for someone associated with the campaign to recover signs from polling places soon after the election to reduce clutter but also save for the next campaign. Otherwise, you may find that someone else has taken care of the signs for you!

In addition, your campaign yard signs should not obscure signs that tell the name of the building where they are posted, they should not obscure signs that direct traffic or any signs put up by an Election Official that mark parking places or direct voters to polling place entrances.

Delaware is one of the few states that explicitly protects the rights of homeowners and condominium owners to display signs. In 2007 the state Legislature amended existing legislation to protect property owners’ right to fly flags and display political signs. The revised statute (25 Delaware Code Sec. 81-320) says that condominium residents or homeowners cannot be prohibited from displaying a U.S. flag up to 3 feet by 5 feet, and that any rule regarding the flag’s display must be consistent with federal law. Unless addressed in the original property declaration, no rule may ban political signs for candidates or ballot questions, but a homeowner’s association can restrict the time, place, size, number, or manner or the displays.

Local Yard Sign Regulations

Municipalities, homeowners associations, condo association, etc. may have laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, covenants or deed restrictions that cover political signs during campaigns. For example, an entity may limit signs to four weeks before Election Day, Election Day and the day after Election Day. In New Castle County for example, there are restrictions regarding the maximum size of the sign. In City of Wilmington the placement of signage is prohibited anywhere within the public right of way.  This includes streets, sidewalks, traffic medians and on any otherwise within the right of way. The Departments of Licenses and Inspections and Public Works has the authority to simply remove the offending signs and dispose of them in Wilmington. Be sure to check with the local governments in your district to ensure that you are following all relevant sign ordinances.

Conclusion

Following yard sign regulations may sound like a minor issue, if you don’t follow the rules, candidates and campaigns can be fined and signs may be removed and destroyed. In summary, always ask owners before putting campaign signs on their property. Remember that candidates do not have a right to put signs on private property without the owner’s permission. Don’t forget to remove signs promptly after an election. At polling places, remove signs after the polls close on Election Night and clean up trash.

Rhode Island Yard Sign Regulations

Rhode-Island-FlagCompared to other states, Rhode Island has somewhat stricter rules and regulations on when, where and under what circumstances you may place your campaign sign.  For instance, you may not place a sign at least 25 feet from the nearest edge of right-of-way. But no signs are allowed at historical and religious places. These are just a couple of the rules that you must keep in mind during the campaign.

There are political consequences for playing fast and loose with campaign sign rules. You’d be subject to criticism from the local media and your political opponent for one.

Rhode Island Yard Sign Regulations

Rhode Island sign ordinances commonly do not allow off-site or off premises sign. Rhode Island Outdoor Advertising Act prohibits placing campaign signs that are visible from interstate highways, so not to obstruct or physically interfere with a drivers’ view.  For the same reason, your campaign signs should not resemble official traffic signs or signals because they might cause traffic hazards. Also for safety reasons you are not allowed to place your sign upon a tree or any other natural feature that is structurally unsafe.

In Rhode Island there are zones where you can put your sign. Campaign signs must be located in a zoned commercial or industrial area. More important, your signs must stay 25 feet away from the nearest right-of-way.

When planning a campaign in Rhode Island, it is forbidden to place campaign signs at natural of manmade scenic places. Places of historical significance, designated scenic roadways and bicycle paths are also off limits for political signs. If you make a mistake and put your sign here, it will be removed by Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

Political Sign Size Limit

The maximum area for campaigns signs that are located 150 feet or more from the nearest edge of the right-of-way is 1,200 square feet. The maximum allowed length of the sign is 60 feet and maximum height is 25 feet. Don’t forget that these dimensions include the border, trim, cutouts and other extensions.

Rhode Island Sign Permits

Lawfully placed signs require permits. If you want to obtain a permit, you need to provide a proof of legal control of the real property and sign. Department of Transportation takes care of the process to obtain the permit.

Displacing, removing, injuring or destroying campaign signs is not allowed. Penalty for this is up to 10 days in jail and a fine of $100 to $500, plus additional expenses and costs.

Local Yard Sign Regulations

Municipal rules on posting campaign signs may differ when it comes to size, shape and location of the sign. It is highly recommended to check local ordinances before you decide to put up a sign. These local ordinances may include some restrictions on how long you may keep a sign or if you need a permit. For example, in town of Scituate, the zoning inspector must certify any sign before you place it or just decide to change its size, or even move it to another place.  And in some villages you need to submit the signs to the village overlay district review committee before you can place your sign.

Conclusion

It may seem like there are many rules to be followed before you can place your sign, but it is definitely better to check something twice than to face the political and legal consequences afterwards. These consequences are of course your sign being taken away and the risk of your opponent taking the advantage of such situation. So, to avoid this, do not post your signs at least 25 feet from the nearest edge of right-of-way. Don’t post it on trees or rocks or anywhere where it can fall down a cause a hazard. Speaking of hazards, you are not allowed to place your sign on places where it obstructs the view of the drivers. This can be very serious and dangerous. If you make such mistake, Rhode Island Department of Transportation will have to remove your sign and you will be remembered as someone who doesn’t care about the safety of the voters.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

Michigan Yard Sign Regulations

Michigan-flagPart of planning a political campaign in Michigan means knowing the sign regulations and laws. According to the state of Michigan, yard signs are your responsibility and the Michigan Department of Transportation will not think twice before they remove your illegally placed sign. All signs must be more than 30 feet from the edge of the roadway and if the highway has curbs, your sign must be place more than three feet from the back of the curb.

But you shouldn’t obey the law just because your sign might be removed. You need to inform yourself about campaign regulations so that you don’t have your political opponents another reason to attack your candidacy.

Michigan Yard Sign Regulations

Starting at the end of the campaign, all signs must be removed within ten days after the elections. They are not permitted within intersections or along commercial driveways, because they may cause traffic hazards. Have in mind that you are not allowed to place signs within limited access rights-of-way either.

If you put a campaign sign along the highway, they must stay more than thirty feet from the roadway but only if the highway doesn’t gave curbs. If the highway has curbs, signs have to stay three feet from the curb.

There are ways to be sure you are placing your signs along the highway the right way. For example, try using a three foot and a thirty foot string and they will help you avoid mistakes in campaign planning.

MDOTDepartment of Transportation in Michigan has developed these regulations to keep motorists safe. They are also in charge of the enforcement and removal of illegally placed signs. If your signs are removed by MDOT, they will be stored by a local officer for seven days.

If you do not come for them within the seven days, they will be disposed of. You can avoid a lot of campaign time and expense by avoiding this situation in the first place by following Michigan’s yard sign rules.

Local Yard Sign Regulations

Municipal laws and regulations may have some additional restrictions above and beyond the state law. They often affect the place or time you can place a sign. Also, they may also apply to the circumstances under which you may or may not place a sign on someone’s private property or along the municipal local right-of-way. For example, campaign signs in the city of Allen Park may be posted 60 days before elections and in the village of Manchester signs may be posted 45 days before Election Day. As for the size of the signs, some municipalities in Michigan require certain dimensions for signs before they are posted. City of St. Claire Shores does not allow signs to be bigger than three feet height and four feet in width. Other regulations mostly apply to shape and how long you may keep a sign on someone else’s lawn. Of course, if you are not sure what law applies in your municipality, contact your local municipality for more information.

Conclusion

In order to win elections, you need to know the rules of the game. More importantly, you need to work within the legal framework to win. Knowing more about placing the campaign signs in your state can defend you from your opponents but also, it can give you a chance to turn the tables if they do not follow the rules. You need to take special care of local laws because they can differ from city to city. Do not place your signs on places where they can cause traffic hazards.

The Department of Transportation in Michigan will remove your sign and dispose of it after seven days if you don’t come to pick them up. Also, do not place your signs along limited access highways. Do not forget to remove your signs 10 days after the election. Finally, do not forget about the thirty feet distance from white line at the highway without curbs and three feet distance along the highway with the curb.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

Florida Yard Sign Regulations

welcome to floridaYard signs are a great way to increase candidate name recognition in a political campaign though candidates should adhere to state and local campaign sign regulations to keep their Although yard signs can be a great way of supporting your candidate, this form of expressing your political belief may conflict with a city/state ordinance, limiting the time signs can be displayed. Laws differ from state to state, and that is why it is important to go through all of the documentation governing Florida yard sign regulations.

Florida Yard Sign Regulations

In Florida, yard sign regulations are governed by Section 106.1435 of the state code.

  • Campaigns are not allowed to place signs on the state, county or city rights of way
  • Political signs are not allowed private property without the permission of the landowner
  • Your campaign signs must be removed with thirty days of the election or the withdrawal or elimination of your candidacy

It may sound obvious, but these rules do not apply for advertisements on motor vehicles, campaign t-shirt or other worn objects, and on signs that fall under chapter 479 of the state’s statutes such as billboards and other business signage. Another piece of commonsense, don’t post signs in places where they impact a driver’s ability to see a traffic signal or a motorist’s view more generally. Think before deciding on the locations of campaign signs!

What happens when you do not follow the state’s regulations? The candidate him or herself is on the hook for the cost of removal. If your campaign signs are not removed within the legal time period, “the political subdivision or governmental entity has the authority to remove such advertisements and may charge the candidate the actual cost of such removal.”

Do not forget to include a disclaimer, because according to Florida statute 106.1435, “any political advertisement paid by either a candidate or a political party must be approved in advance, and must state who paid for the advertisement (or include the name and address of the persons sponsoring it).” If your sign is written in a language other than English, the disclaimer information may be provided in the language used in that advertisement.

Finally, theft, in any form including election signs, is prohibited. This is one the most common illegal yard sign activities, and the most damaging to your reputation. Just don’t do it, and let your staff and volunteers know that they shouldn’t steal signs either. Conversely, be on the lookout for your own signs. If they are stolen, make sure that they are replaced quickly and if it’s appropriate, take the other candidate to task for running roughshod over state theft laws.

Local Yard Sign Regulations

Political campaigns should bear in mind that the state’s regulations do not prevent municipalities from imposing their own requirements on campaign signs, so long as they aren’t in conflict with Florida’s regulations. These local ordinances can include a variety of restrictions including:

  • Requiring permits before posting signs
  • Limiting the size and shape of political signs
  • Restricting the time period that campaigns can distribute signs
  • Imposing fines and penalties to campaigns and candidates that violate local sign ordinances

Go to your local governments’ websites in your district to find out more information about the sign ordinances in those communities and contact their offices if there isn’t information online to be sure that you are following the law in the town’s that you will represent.

Conclusion

Using campaign signs can give your candidacy a real boost, so you should definitely think about implementing them, but it is absolutely necessary to comply with the rules and regulations of the city’s that are within your district boundaries and the state of Florida. The last thing you want is to face legal trouble just because you have not put enough effort in your campaign strategy.

If legal issues weren’t enough, let’s think about the politics too. While this is a minor offense, your political opponents could point out the irony of someone who wants to a be part of government violating the government’s laws or your local news media could do the same.

Do the right thing ethically and politically – follow the state and local regulations related to campaign signs.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

Arizona Yard Sign Regulations

Arizona Welcome SignWhile not without controversy, Arizona made navigating the state’s campaign sign regulations much easier in 2011 when they limited localities’ ability to prohibit campaigns for distributing signs sixty days before the primary election and ending fifteen days after the general election aside from candidate who lose in the primary. Those candidates must remove their signs within fifteen days following the primary election.

When Arizona’s Sign Regulation Applies to Local Governments

Political campaigns must meet five requirements regardless of whether it is within the time frame that Arizona allows yard signs throughout the state. Here they are straight from the state’s code:

  1. The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.
  2. The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure.
  3. The sign is not placed in a location that is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with disabilities act (42 United States Code sections 12101 through 12213 and 47 United States Code sections 225 and 611).
  4. The sign has a maximum area of sixteen square feet, if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two square feet if the sign is located in any other area.
  5. The sign contains the name and telephone number or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.

If one of your campaign signs is found in violation of one or more of these five requirements, the jurisdiction must notify the campaign and give the candidate twenty four hours to bring the sign back into compliance with Arizona’s regulations before removing the sign. If the jurisdiction deems that it is an emergency situation, such as causing a hazard for traffic or pedestrians, the proper authorities may remove the sign immediately, but they also must notify the campaign committee within seventy two hours of relocating the sign.

Home Owners Associations and Yard Signs

Arizona also has strong laws protecting citizens’ right to free speech who belong to home owners’ associations. In 2004, Arizona ensured that members of HOAs could fly flags, such as the state and U.S. flag, regardless of any restrictions in their covenant with their HOA so long as they met the requirements laid out in the federal flag code.

The Arizona state legislature acted again and now protects HOA residents from a host of political campaign activities including posting signs for political candidates on their private property.

Side note, Gawker has a telling article with a laundry list of HOA horror stories. Across the country, many home owners associations have prevented residents from flying U.S. flags, military flags, and other forms of political speech. At Campaign Trail Yard Signs, we support regulations that protect public safety and understand that there are aesthetic concerns to consider in addition to an individual’s interest in displaying a candidate sign, but we’ve heard countless stories of austere HOA policies. If your HOA in Arizona tells you to remove your campaign sign, make sure that you are complying the state regulation above, and tell them to go pound sand!

Political Consequences of Violating Sign Regulations

While there are no financial penalties for violating the state’s sign regulations, there are political ones. If you put a sign out too early, post a sign bigger than the law allows, or keep a sign out too long, for example, you’re inviting your political opponent or the local news media to take your campaign to task for failing to follow the law.

Especially since Arizona’s laws are easy to understand and follow, educating volunteers and staying compliant as a campaign is simple. If you stray from these simple rules, it’s just as easy for your political opponents to find out and call you on the carpet.

Nevada Yard Sign Regulations

Highway 50 sign in Nevada with a bicyclist peddling up the road.

Posting Political Signs within Nevada’s State Highway Right of Ways

It is illegal to post campaign signs within the right-of-way of state highways. Like many other states, it can be a challenge to identify what roads are under Nevada DOT control and which are local or federal roads, which have a different set of regulations to abide by. State highways include not only the well numbered rural routes but many country roads and city streets. If you have a question about the right of way for state highways, NDOT recommends calling your local district office. In Clark County call the District I Office in Las Vegas at (702) 385-6540, in Tonopah call (775) 482-2300, in northwestern Nevada call the District II Office in Sparks at (775) 834-8300, in Winnemucca call (775) 623-8000, in northeastern Nevada call the District III Office in Elko at (775) 777-2700, and in Ely call (775) 289-1700.

Once you have identified that the road is a state road, you campaign must follow the regulations established in Nevada’s state code, namely:

  • Political signs should not be a distraction to drivers. Be careful where you put signs in intersections and elsewhere, so you do not cause accidents. Also, don’t place signs in a way that blocks the view of oncoming traffic.
  • Your sign cannot resemble official traffic signs.
  • From NDOT, “Political signs erected on private property that is adjacent to a state highway may be erected no more than 60 days before a primary election and must be removed within 30 days after the primary election. Signs for candidates or questions appearing on the general election ballot do not have to be removed until 30 days after the general election.”
  • Political campaign signs adjacent to and within 660 feet of any state highway must meet federal requirements. For yard signs or any other 4′ x 8′ or smaller sign there is no need for a permit unlike larger signs.

Apart from state requirements, local governmental agencies can and do have varying criteria regarding placement of political signs on city and county roads. These local restrictions vary greatly among the various entities and must be checked locally.

Sample County Political Signs Requirements

Each county in Nevada has its own yard sign rules to follow. Some counties may not be any more stringent than the Nevada state regulations, but many counties have additional restrictions that you need to consider depending upon what county or counties that you are running for elected office in.

Douglas County, for example, has a number of other restrictions:

  • Campaigns are prohibited from posting signs on telephone polls or other traffic control posts.
  • You cannot post a political sign along the county right of way.
  • It is against the law to place a sign on private property without the property owner’s consent.
  • Campaign signs mustn’t obstruct the view of pedestrians or driving traffic.
  • Signs must be removed seven days following an election.

NDOT Political Sign Brochure

In addition to this blog post, the Nevada Department of Transportation has put together a handy brochure that summarizes the regulations and NDOT’s enforcement of law related to political signs, which as defined by NDOT, are “any temporary or portable display or device advertising for or against a candidate for public office or a political party or political point of view.”

Nevada DOT Sign Brochure

Consequences for Violating Nevada’s Sign Regulations

Depending upon whether the state road is in the middle of town, in the country, has a sidewalk, has NDOT facilities built along the road, etc. it can be difficult to know where exactly the state has right of way. If you have any questions about where Nevada’s right of way starts and ends, your best option is to give Nevada Department of Transportation’s Right of Way Division a call. In northern Nevada, (775) 888-7480 and in southern Nevada, (702) 385-6540

If you violate any of Nevada’s regulations for political signs, NDOT employees will remove your campaign’s signs and hold them at the nearest maintenance station. Campaigns can collect the signs from the NDOT maintenance station within thirty days of their removal. After thirty days, NDOT will dispose of the signs.

Unlike many other states, candidates are not assessed fines or fees from the Department of Transportation for the cost associated with removing and holding the signs or penalties for violating the state’s regulation. In fact, NDOT explicitly states that their employees will try to remove the signs without damaging them, which is rarely the case elsewhere. Of course, this is no excuse not to violate the state’s regulations because while the Department of Transportation may be forgiving, your opponent or the local newspaper may not be!

Ohio Yard Sign Regulations

Ohio Welcome You sign above the highwayOhio span almost 45,000 square miles. That’s a lot of area for campaign signs and a lot of opportunities for campaigns to find themselves on the wrong side of the state’s yard sign regulations. One of the best piece of advice that I’ve ever heard about candidates for elected office is that “the only bad candidate is the one who thinks he can’t lose.” One of the insights from this quote that you can take to the bank, voting booth rather, is that you shouldn’t take your opponent for granted.

Don’t play fast and loose with sign regulations. Always think that your opponent, local media outlets, or a concerned citizens will pick up on the violation and make your campaign for office more challenging than it already is!

Ohio Sign Law

According to Ohio law, only the Ohio Department of Transportation traffic signs are authorized on the state’s right of way. This means that campaign yard signs are prohibited from Ohio’s right of way.

The Department has jurisdiction over all interstates, Ohio state routes, and U.S. routes on the state’s highway system. ODOT, however, doesn’t have jurisdiction inside city and village limits.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will remove any signs that are found along the right of way. The Department’s crews will then take the lawn signs to the nearest county garage facility to be picked up by the campaign or sign’s owner. The campaign has up to thirty days to pick up the sign or risk having the yard signs thrown out.

If you need to find your local ODOT garage location, determine what district you’re in by looking at the map. Then, you’ll find the contact information for your local Department of Transportation garage facility where you can pick up your signs:

Map of Ohio DOT districts

District 1 – Lima

Serving the Counties of:
Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot

Address:
1885 N. McCullough St.
Lima, Ohio 45801
Phone: (419) 222-9055
Fax: (419) 222-0438

District Deputy Director:
Kirk Slusher, (419) 999-6804
Public Information Contact:
Rhonda Pees, (419) 999-6803

District 2

Serving the Counties of:
Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood

Address:
317 East Poe Road
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402-1330
Phone: (419) 353-8131
Fax: (419) 353-1468

District Deputy Director:
Todd M. Audet, (419) 373-4412
Public Information Contact:
Theresa Pollick, (419) 373-4428

District 3

Serving the Counties of:
Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne

Address:
906 Clark Ave.
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone: (419) 281-0513
or (800) 276-4188 (OH only)
Fax: (419) 281-0874

District Deputy Director:
Allen C. Biehl, (419) 207-7002
Public Information Contact:
Christine S. Myers, (419) 207-7182

District 4

Serving the Counties of:
Ashtabula, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull

Address:
2088 S. Arlington Road
Akron, Ohio 44306
Phone: (330) 786-3100
or (800) 603-1054 (OH only)
Fax: (330) 786-2210

District Deputy Director:
Anthony M. Urankar, (330) 786-2200
Public Information Contact:
Justin Chesnic, (330) 786-2209

District 5

Serving the Counties of:
Coshocton, Fairfield, Guernsey, Knox, Licking, Muskingum and Perry

Address:
9600 Jacksontown Rd.
Jacksontown, Ohio 43030
Phone: (740) 323-4400
Fax: (740) 323-3715
District Deputy Director:
Joe Rutherford, (740) 323-4400
Public Information Contact:
Lauren Holdsworth, (740) 323-5204

District 6

Serving the Counties of:
Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union

Address:
400 East William St.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Phone: (740) 833-8000
Fax: (740) 833-8100
District Deputy Director:
Ferzan M. Ahmed, (740) 833-8211
Public Information Contact:
Nancy Burton, (740) 833-8063

District 7

Serving the Counties of:
Auglaize, Clark, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery and Shelby

Address:
1001 St. Marys Ave. SR 29
Sidney, Ohio 45365
Phone: (937) 492-1141
Fax: (937) 497-9734

District Deputy Director:
Randy Chevalley, (937) 497-6770
Public Information Contact:
Mandi (Abner) Dillion, (937) 538-0979

District 8

Serving the Counties of:
Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren

Address:
505 South SR 741
Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Phone: (513) 932-3030
or (800) 831-2142 (OH only)
Fax: 513-932-7651
District Deputy Director:
Steve Mary, (513) 933-6594
Public Information Contact:
Sharon Smigielski, (513) 933-6511

District 9

Serving the Counties of:
Adams, Brown, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross and Scioto

Address:
650 Eastern Ave.
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
Phone: (740) 773-2691
or (888) 819-8501 (OH only)
Fax: (740) 775-4889

District Deputy Director:
Vaughn Wilson, (740) 774-8833
Public Information Contact:
Kathleen Fuller, (740) 774-8834

District 10

Serving the Counties of:
Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Vinton and Washington

Address:
338 Muskingum Dr.
Marietta, Ohio 45750
Phone: (740) 568-3900
or (800) 845-0226 (OH only)
Fax: (740) 373-7317

District Deputy Director:
T. Steve Williams, (740) 568-3901
Public Information Contact:
David Rose, (740) 568-3904

District 11

Serving the Counties of:
Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas

Address:
2201 Reiser Ave.
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
Phone: (330) 339-6633
Fax: (330) 308-3942

District Deputy Director:
Lloyd MacAdam, (330) 308-3950
Public Information Contact:
Becky (McCarty) Giauque, (330) 308-3949

District 12

Serving the Counties of:
Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake

Address:
5500 Transportation Blvd.
Garfield Heights, OH 44125
Phone: (216) 581-2100
or (800) 732-4896 (OH only)
Fax: (216) 584-2274

District Deputy Director:
Myron S. Pakush, (216) 584-2000
Public Information Contact:
Amanda Lee, (216) 584-2005

Local Sign Laws

In addition to state sign laws, each locality can have additional rules that your campaign needs to follow. While this video is out of date from a political campaign perspective, it shows the kind of negative press that your campaign could receive from violating sign regulations and the consequences of those sign violations:

There are two great takeaways from this news story. First, not only will violating the state’s yard sign laws get your campaign in legal hot water but it may also backfire with voters who look at signs on the highway as a nuisance. Second, there are too many different local ordinances to mention, so if you are running for state legislature or any office that includes several localities, be sure to figure out what the sign ordinances are there before you order signs to avoid potential problems.

If you got what you were looking for some this post, would you please add a link to this page on your site or share it on social media, so that you can keep your fellow candidates and politicos on the right side of California’s campaign sign regulations as well?

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or opinion. It’s simply a collection of information that I have been able to gather from online and offline sources and have applied to political campaigns.

Washington Yard Sign Regulations

It’s important for candidates, campaign staff, and supporters to the understand the state’s yard sign laws to avoid lost time involved in:

* Designing the sign
* Posting the sign in unlawful locations
* Recovering signs from the Department of Transportation

In a competitive campaign, time is critical. It is a political campaign’s only nonrenewable resource. There is only so much time till Election Day. The campaign that minimizes distractions and uses their time more wisely than the other candidate is at an advantage.

In addition, there are political consequences to violating Washington State yard sign laws. Your opponent is always looking for ways to attack your candidacy. If your yard signs are found in illegal locations, whether it was intentional or not, you can expect that the other candidate will take you to task for violating the law.

Dale Peterson, candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner in 2010, did this in a TV ad. He criticized his opponent for stealing yard signs “in the dark of night” along with delivering his own campaign message. His populist demeanor and the content of this ad rocketed him from single digits in the polls to nearly 30%.

While he didn’t win the election, Peterson forced a run off and his endorsed candidate beat the one time frontrunner.

Washington Political Sign Laws

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 468-66, outlines the regulations for temporary political signs on private property visible from state highways. According to the code:

* All signs must be removed from removed from the road ways within ten days of the election
* The maximum allowable lawn sign size is 32 square feet
* Posted signs must meet all local regulations as well

There is a blanket restriction against posting signs within the state right of way. The Department admits that it’s not easy to determine where the right of way ends but offers some tips to understand where they end:

* Utility poles are inside the right of way. This means that putting a sign up before a telephone pole will violate the regulations.
* This same idea works with fences. Do not post signs between the fence and the road.

Private property owners, however, can post signs on their property, including along the highway, so long as they remove them within ten days of the election.

If there is ever a question where the state’s right of way ends or the campaign has another sign related questions, contact the WSDOT Outdoor Advertising Specialist at 360-705-7296. So that the specialist can give the most accurate information, make sure you know the route number along with the closest intersection or milepost number.

Municipal Sign Laws

Washington State’s Department of Transportation has a number of regulations for campaigns to follow. Campaigns with multiple local governments within the district will see the complexity of following yard sign laws grow exponentially.

Be sure to check with the proper local authority to determine if or how local ordinances impact your yard sign distribution strategy. Here are some of the common restrictions:

* When you can place a sign along the local right of way and sometimes on private property
* Limits on the size and shape of an election sign

Conclusion

Political campaigns that follow state and local lawn sign regulations will save time and prevent political attacks from the other candidate.

Understanding these laws is also an opportunity to hold your opponent accountable to the same standard that you are holding your own campaign to. If you see your opponent’s campaign yard sign in an illegal location, document it. Take a picture of the sign and distribute to the press, post it on the campaign blog, and consider using other methods to distribute this information to voters.

Then, let voters decide if they should vote for a candidate to make laws who doesn’t follow them.

Missouri Yard Sign Laws

This map shows the outlines of Missouri counties.I can’t tell you how many newspaper article I see where a candidate has stolen a yard sign or the Department of Transportation had to remove illegally posted signs. Don’t be that candidate.

By putting signs along the state’s right of way in Missouri you’re risking losing the time and money it took to design, order, and place those campaign lawn signs. Also, I’m sure that you want to run an ethical, above board campaign. In the big things like campaign finance and in the little things like only putting campaign signs up where and when it’s legal.

Missouri Political Sign Laws

“The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) would like to remind everyone that the posting of any kind of sign (political, advertising or personal) on state right-of-way along highways is illegal and can constitute a distracting and/or a traffic hazard.”

If a campaign doesn’t follow the state regulation, MoDOT crews will remove the sign and take it the local maintenance maintenance building. Now, political campaigns can recover the signs from the Department of Transportation but you will need to get them within thirty days of when the maintenance personnel removed the political lawn signs from the state road.

While Missouri’s rules for yard sign distribution aren’t terribly unclear, there are always issues that come up. Feel free to contact the Missouri Department of Transportation at their toll free customer service center 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636) during normal business hours or visit our website.

Local Sign Laws

Understanding Missouri’s sign regulations aren’t enough. Depending upon what elected office you are running for, there are a number of local governments and there’s a good chance that each of those municipal governments have differences in their sign ordinances.

Contact the municipal office for specifics but the most common restrictions in local ordinances:
* Prohibit or restrict access to the local right of way
* The size and shape of the campaign lawn sign
* The time frame that you can post signs and when you have to remove them

While you won’t find this as often, you might encounter broad prohibitions against posting campaign lawn signs particularly if you are placing signs on property in a homeowners association.

Conclusion

To wrap up, don’t put yard signs along the state’s right of way and be sure to check with the municipal governments that are you in your district so that you know of any local regulations. Sometimes, there are fines for violating the local ordinance, so be sure that you aren’t doing anything that could cost your campaigns hundreds or thousands of dollars!

Finally, use this information to hold the other candidate accountable. If you see a campaign sign that violates the law in Missouri, first, take a picture of it. Be sure to get enough context that it’s clear that the sign is violating the law. Tell MoDOT, post the image on your campaign website, and information local media. Voters have a right to know when a candidate is violating campaign laws.