They began to appear in late summer. And they have sprouted and multiplied, seemingly daily, up until Election Day. Campaign signs. Now that the election is over, what happens to them? Who can remove them and are there any rules?
Up until Election Day, it is unsporting, and illegal to meddle with campaign signs. However, now that the election is over, a massive sign-clean up effort takes place, organized each year by Mayor Pam Hemminger.
Candidates who tussled days before head out together to retrieve each others signs along designated routes. It’s a way to acknowledge that we all live in the same towns, and we can all come together after an election takes place.
We were curious to learn more about this pretty heartwarming community effort, so we sent some questions to Mayor Pam, who graciously answered them.
Tell us about your sign clean up program – how many signs and where do they go?
How did it start?
How do you assign candidates their routes?
Are you going to continue it beyond this year or are you passing the baton?
Are there any special techniques for sign removal on major highways? is it a two person job?
Sign placement and removal can be dangerous. Putting them out is harder when the ground is so dry! Collecting is easier and faster if getting all the signs. Gloves help!
My first time putting out signs was in 2004. It was with wooden stakes, a sledge hammer, and stapling two signs together. Tough and dirty work!
Now with two-sided signs and metal stakes, it is a bit easier. Never had to use the industrial size stapler again that I bought back then so I donated it to a school!
We want to thank Mayor Pam for graciously answering these questions and for serving Chapel Hill over the past eight years.
If you have signs in your yard or spot a rogue sign, you can bring them to either Cedar Falls Park or Carrboro Town Commons over the next few days, and put them in the designated piles. The candidates will retrieve them. If you’d rather keep them, here are some helpful ideas for recycling them done or suggested by other blogbloggers.
“I keep a small supply around the house for random uses. For example, I use four retired signs, zip-tied together, to cover the top of our AC units in the winter. This keeps leaves and snow and ice from getting into them.”
“I use them as sleds for my kids.”
“I ran for Town Council once and had plans to run again, but then birds made a nest on my pile of signs, and that was a sign that I shouldn’t re-run.”
“I reused them as wedding reception signs – painted over, of course!”