Campaign signs are sticking around
Fri, 09 Nov 2012 22:24:38 GMT —
Even before election day, many people were fed up with politics.
Just because election day is over, it does not mean the signs will disappear.
The State of Illinois passed new legislation protecting people's rights to display their political views.
That means some remnants of the election could last all year.
"Just like political ads on TV, people get tired of seeing them. Neighbors have called in complaining that their neighbors have got signs sprouting all over the yard," Chuck Bevelheimer said.
Elections may be over, but some political and campaign yard signs are still up. A new state law says that political signs are now protected as a form of free speech. That trumps the City of Quincy's former ordinance about political signs.
"The City's former ordinance for political signs had some language in it that established the date that they could go up, nine days before the election or the primary and they had to come down 14 days after the general election," Bevelheimer explained.
Now, those signs can stay up all year if that is what the property owner wants. The city can only restrict signs if those signs obstructing traffic somehow. For Quincy, the new legislation does not mean much of a change.
Bevelheimer said, "Frankly because of the nature of politics the city staff has always been sensitive for candidates running for office. We would always contact the campaign manager and say 'Hey, there's a problem with this sign, please address it.' So we've never fined or cited anybody for political signs we've always contacted the campaign."
Some signs across Quincy that supported the community aggregation ballot issue are still up, and covered with a "thank you" sticker. That is allowed with the new legislation.
Business signs are different from political signs. They are not protected as a form of free speech, so the city does have the right to limit signs promoting businesses.
Campaign or political signs cannot be place on city property. Any signs that were place on city property throughout campaign season were removed as soon as city employees were notified.