Jurisdiction Holds the Right to Remove Illegally Placed Campaign Signs
By Kelsey Kennedy, Producer/Digital Journalist - email
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio -
They pop up everywhere this time of year every four years or so. The closer we get to the election, the more campaign signs are staked out in our yards and along the roadways.
WTRF.com spoke to Mark Thomas, an attorney in Belmont County who explains where the signs are legally allowed to be. He says all signs are supposed to stay on private property, but for so long now, its been tradition to put them in what's called the right of way on our roads.
Thomas says unless there is a safety issue, illegally placed signs probably won't be taken down.
"The specific jurisdiction, whether it's the state, the county, or the city, does have the right under Ohio law or under their own law to remove any signs that are in the right of way," he says. "I've had experience over the years to see mainly the state, because its along the interstate highway system or say along U.S. Rt. 40 where it becomes a safety issue. The signs aren't technically supposed to be there anyway so if there's a safety issue, they will be removed."
Everyone knows these signs tend to overstay their welcome. Sometimes they don't get taken down for days or even months after the elections. Thomas says it's the candidate's responsibility, or whoever put the signs up, to take them down as well.