Saturday, February 4, 2023

Friendly reminder: Candidates have a limited time to remove election signs

State law gives candidates ten days following an election to clear their political signs from public roads, but local codes vary on how long signs can stay up.

Following the midterm election last week, some political signs remain scattered near state right-of-ways in Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Following the midterm election last week, some political signs remain scattered near state right-of-ways in Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — If you campaigned in this year’s midterms using corrugated cardboard signs, you have a limited number of days left to comply with state law (and in Brunswick County time is already up).

Depending on which county signs are placed, candidates are given a specific number of days following an election to remove political signs placed along state-maintained right-of-ways.

RELATED: Election signage: what candidates can and can’t do

Following the primary elections last week, political signs left along state right-of-ways after Nov. 16 will be in violation of North Carolina General Statute § 136-32. However, local governments are permitted under this same statute to regulate political signs under their own ordinances.

In Brunswick, candidates have zero days left. In New Hanover and Pender Counties, there are 23 days left — 30 days after the election — to remove signs in compliance with local codes.

Signs of the times

State law also mandates political signs on state roads must be placed at least three feet away from the pavement, a requirement that many signs appear to have ignored this election season.

The state allows for local ordinances to maintain their own codes pertaining to political signs on state and locally-maintained roads. For example, in Brunswick County, political signs must be removed by today — within seven days of the election.

In New Hanover County, political signs can be erected about six square feet larger than the state’s suggested size of 864 square inches, double the size in fact.

In Pender County, political signage can be over twice as large as the state permits. In Pender, as in New Hanover, candidates are given 30 days after an election to remove their signs.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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