If you are running a political campaign in Maine, it doesn’t mean you should also run the risk of losing thousands of dollars and having your campaign signs removed. What is the best way to avoid this? Inform yourself about the Maine rules and laws on where exactly you can put your sign and how it should appear.
It’s not just the money you can lose. Your reputation is on the line as you place your name by the road. The media and your opponents can harm your campaign in more ways than a several thousand dollar fine, but the fine hurts too!
Finally, if you don’t follow Maine’s rules, how can you make the voters believe you? There is no reason to risk it all since Maine lawn sign laws fully explain which types of signs are acceptable and which are not.
Maine Yard Sign Regulations
There are five main rules regarding posting yard signs in Maine. According to Maine Department of Transportation, you should keep them in mind as you plan your political campaign:
1. You can place campaign signs on private property outside of Maine’s right of way on public roads any time before Election Day. In short, lawn signs can be placed on anyone’s lawn, at any time.
2. When it comes to public road ways, there are certain limits. You can put yard signs six weeks before an election within the Right of Way limits and you must remove them within a week after the election.
3. You should not put signs on traffic control sign polls, public utility poles or on trees. It is also forbidden to put political signs or posters on rocks, guide posts, roadside guard rails or cables.
4. Your campaign signs should not imitate traffic signs.
5. Lawn signs are forbidden on the Interstate. Also, it is unlawful to place signs within 660 feet of the Interstate that are visible to the drivers. If you place a sign there, Maine’s Department of Transportation will remove the signs.
What happens if a steal a yard sign? The state of Maine can issue a fine up to $250 for an offense like this. But more important, you have to make sure that other people who are connected to your campaign are not stealing or violating the opponent’s political signs because that can cost your campaign thousands of dollars and awful press.
According to MDOT and state law, a political sign may not be larger than 50 square feet. Also, it must not obstruct views of traffic or traffic signs.
As you have already read, you may place a sign on a private lawn, so long as it does not block pedestrians or drivers. According to Maine Department of Transportation, you must not place a political sign that drivers can see from the Interstate, and if your home borders an interstate highway, you must place your sign so that only local traffic can see it.
Local Yard Sign Regulations
Why is it important to inform yourself on the local yard sign regulations?
Maine allows municipal governments to enact ordinances that are stricter than the state laws. This means that there is a patchwork of local sign ordinances’ that campaigns must follow. Otherwise, you may face financial penalties like state violations, have your signs destroyed, or at least cause another problem in an already difficult campaign.
Some of the most common local ordinances impact when campaigns can place yard signs on private property, when they can place yard signs on the public Right of Way
and the size and shape of political lawn signs.
There is only one thing left to say in conclusion to all the rules and laws you need to follow if you run an election in Maine: candidates who follow the state’s rules are at an advantage over their opponents who do not. You should be careful to follow lawn sign laws and you should know them well, because when your opponent is violation the law, it is your opportunity to demonstrate that your opponent shouldn’t be trusted.
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.