When it comes to campaigning for elections, much of a candidate’s initiative comes from the local support and volunteering of local voters.
Volunteers help get the word out about the candidate, grow the candidate’s grassroots efforts, and cultivate a local base of support.
The primary way support is shown for a campaigning candidate is through the placement of yard signs that declare the candidate’s name, intention, and sought-after office…those signs are a symbol of support and are usually placed by the candidate or the candidate’s supporters.
But after Election Day has come and gone, those signs don’t just fade away.
According to the State of Florida’s law, candidates have 30 days after Election Day to remove the political signs scattered throughout their campaign areas.
Florida Statute 106.1435 says: “Each candidate, whether for a federal, state, county, or district office, shall make a good faith effort to remove all of his or her political campaign advertisements within 30 days after withdrawal of his or her candidacy; having been eliminated as a candidate; or being elected to office.”
On Thursday, November 12, it will have been nine days after the November 3 Election Day, leaving candidates with a little over 20 days until they have reached the deadline for sign removal.
Statute 106.1435 further states that if candidates have not removed their signs within the specified period, the government entity that the signs are in (such as city limits or county-maintained areas) have the authority to remove the signs themselves – but at a cost.
Florida law says that if a government entity removes the signs after the specified time period, they will have the authority to charge the candidate a removal fee for however many signs were pulled from the roadside.
While the law puts the responsibility for removing campaign signs solely on the shoulders of campaigning candidates, this does not mean that citizens with posted signs in their yards or property cannot also remove their own signs.
As some signs have been placed behind property fences (to protect from theft or damage) or placed on trees or poles, out of reach of mischief-makers, it may be difficult for candidates to remove all of the signs posted by their supporters.
Placing a campaign sign for your candidate is an act of support and a statement of commitment to that candidate – that commitment also means removing the signs you placed in support of the campaigning individual.
Ashley Hunter – firstname.lastname@example.org