The season of political yard signs popping up on lawns is upon us. With the Midterm elections just 2 months away, we’re heading into the prime time of campaign season. To be an educated voter when you head to the polls on November 6, it’s important to know the value of political yard signs, and the dos and don’ts when it comes to this form of communication in campaign season.
Political signs can be an effective means of communication in a campaign. Even if you never picked up a newspaper or received any fliers in the mail from a candidate, you could see who is running for office by driving down County Farm Road or Route 38. Political signs help voters know who is running for a particular office, making it easy to remember who you want to research further online later by going to a candidate’s web site. Because of this, yard signs can provide an inexpensive way for candidates to gain name recognition.
Political yard signs are also an effective way for individuals to show support for a particular candidate or political party. If you are going to display a political yard sign, be sure to follow these dos and don’ts.
- DO display a political yard sign in your own yard. The United States Supreme Court upheld the right of citizens to place political yard signs on private property.
- DON’T remove yard signs from anyone else’s yard or private property. To protect the right to free speech in Illinois, any person who removes or defaces lawfully placed politically advertising, including yard signs, without authorization, is committing a misdemeanor.
- DON’T destroy a yard sign. This contributes to the high cost of elections.
- DO report if you see any political yard signs being vandalized or stolen. You can call the non-emergency number of your local police to make a report.
- DON’T put a political yard sign on public property. Political yard signs are not allowed on public property. If you see a political yard sign blocking roadway visibility or placed illegally, contact your local municipality.
If you are interested in more political sign specifics, The Illinois Campaign Sign Regulation Act of 2012 provides additional information on political sign do’s and don’ts.
Being an educated voter is important as we head into these important days before the Midterm election, and well-placed political yard signs can help make us all more educated, aware, and ready to vote on November 6!