Rules behind disposing of outdated campaign lawn signs

Some signs are still out for candidates who were unsuccessful in the primary elections

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – If you’re out and about you can see campaign signs for candidates who lost and aren’t on the November ballot. 22News discovered there’s no uniform rule for sign removal. It’s left largely to a town’s discretion, depending on whether it’s on private or public land. Legally, they can stay there as long as private property owners want.

According to Agawam Town Clerk Richard Theroux, the Supreme Judicial Court determined they’re protected under free speech. He said in Agawam, Department of Public Works picks up the signs on public property after elections.

“After the election, it’s very difficult. The winners, thinking of reelection, pick up their signs. The people that were not successful usually leave them there for us to pick up,” said Theroux.

We called political consultant Tony Cignoli. He said that any sign 15 feet from the road can be picked up by a town or city if the homeowner doesn’t remove it already.

According to the state’s website, state police can remove any signs on state highways or rotaries.

“I think for people that aren’t actually paying attention to what the candidates are saying, it might be a through repetition thing that’s going to burn them in so when they get to the booth they’re just going to look around and go that one!” said Phil Finkle of Easthampton.

With Election Day less than two months away, you can expect to see even more lawn signs in the coming weeks. Election Day this year is Tuesday, November 4th.

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