Campaign season is over, time to clean up the signs

JACKSONVILLE - The election has ended but the process of cleaning up political signs is just beginning.

In North Carolina, campaigns have 10 days from election night to clear signs from state roads. The law varies for city roads and private property.

"The candidates and their workers are usually very good about policing themselves," said Gary Ouellette, Chief Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Jacksonville. 

Ouellette said candidates have 3 days post election to remove signs from city maintained roads and private property. "The signs get tattered, torn, blown away, obviously it's a blight," said Ouellette.

Prior to October of 2011, campaign signs were only allowed on private property in Jacksonville.  Ouellette said that recently changed when a North Carolina state statute determined that signs could be placed right next to public roads.

"To me that's the epitome of the freedom that we enjoy in this country," said Jesus Bocanegra, a Jacksonville homeowner.  "Other countries don't have the freedom to outwardly express who it is they're supporting."

If signs are left behind on state roads, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for clean-up.  If signs are left behind on Jacksonville city roads, the city's code enforcement officers are responsible for clean-up.

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