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The Dos and Don'ts of Political Campaign Signs

It's not OK to place political campaign signs everywhere. Nor is it all right to include certain words on those signs. Do you know the rules? Do you know what to do if you see a sign that doesn't follow those rules?

There's no doubt you've seen the signs around town.

Most often red and blue but sometimes green, campaigns signs are dotting shoulders of our local roadways. Candidates and political supporters usually post the signs in places they'll get your attention—a busy intersection or the entrance to a frequently visited hot spot.

Officials recognize political candidates' need to advertise their positions, but for aesthetic and safety reasons, the  regulates temporary signage.  

When May Signs be Posted?

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a proposal a law June 2010 that would bar municipalities from regulating when campaign signs can go up on residential properties. The new law would essentially allow homeowners to put up signs year-round.

The Quinn administration said the new law would bring Illinois into compliance with a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That ruling indicated political signs are protected "free speech" under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and cannot be regulated by municipalities. Municipalities are however, still allowed to regulate the size and location of the signs.

The has its own specific rules when it comes to posting them. Here's some info taken from that section of the village code.

How Big May the Signs Be? 

Signs announcing candidates seeking public political office and other data pertinent thereto, cannot exceed a total of 32 square feet and 16 square feet for each face, for each premise. They cannot be erected sooner than 45 days before the election.

Where May a Sign Be Placed?

Campaign signs should be confined within private property, with the permission of the property owner.

What's Off Limits?

In order to maintain traffic safety, no sign can be erected where it interferes with, obstruct the view of, or can be confused with any other authorized traffic sign, signal or device, as determined by the . 

 Accordingly, no sign, marquee, canopy, or awning shall make use of the words “Stop," “Go," “Look," “Slow," “Danger," or a similar word, phrase, symbol, or character. It also cannot employ any red, yellow, orange, green, or other colored lamp in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic. No sign shall have blinking, flashing, or fluttering lights, or another illuminating device.

When Must Political Signs be Removed?

Within seven days after election day.

What Happens if a Sign Doesn't Meet the Village Code? 

The village's building inspector is the guy to contact. If he finds that any sign is unsafe, insecure, poses a danger to the public or otherwise violates the set provisions, he will notify the person who placed it. That individual will then have 10 days to correct or remove the sign before the mayor may declare it a public nuisance. It will then be removed. 

Who Do You Support?

To find where you vote and who's on your ballot, check out our . Looking for a general rundown of who's running in county, state and congressional races?

Congress:

State: , and .

 

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