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Campaign Signs 101

vote here signs in a field

If you’ve ever wondered where campaign signs can be posted, for how long, or if they can be recycled we have the answers here. Election Services receives tons of questions about the placement of campaign signs from the public and candidates. Here are a few of the most common questions.

Who regulates campaign signs?

North Carolina General Statutes regulate campaign signs and placement. Your local County Board of Elections does not have the ability to enforce regulations. For right-of-way questions or complaints contact NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) locally at (828) 250-3200.

Where can I find my local sign ordinance?

Signs placed within a municipality fall within the municipality’s jurisdiction and they would be responsible for enforcement. A link to each municipality’s ordinances regarding signage is located on our website here.  

What if I see someone vandalizing or stealing signs?

It is a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person to steal, deface, vandalize, or unlawfully remove a political sign that is lawfully placed under NCGS 136-32. Contact your local law enforcement agency at their non-emergency number to report a person stealing or vandalizing signs.

Where can campaign signs be placed?

During the period beginning on the 30th day before the beginning date of "one-stop" early voting under G.S. 163-227.2. Early voting starts April 28, campaign signs may be posted starting March 30.

According to the statute, the permittee must obtain the permission of any property owner of a residence, business, or religious institution fronting the right-of-way where a sign would be erected.  Signs must be placed in accordance with the following:

  • No sign shall be permitted in the right-of-way of a fully controlled access highway.
  •  No sign shall be closer than three feet from the edge of the pavement of the road.
  • No sign shall obscure motorist visibility at an intersection.
  • No sign shall be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement of the road.
  • No sign shall be larger than 864 square inches.
  • No sign shall obscure or replace another sign.

When do campaign signs have to be removed?

In 2019 the law was changed to allow a person to dispose of signs that remained in the right-of-way more than 30 days after the end of early voting. The last day of early voting for the primary is May 14, 30 days after that date is June 13.

Can campaign signs be recycled?

Campaign signs can be challenging to recycle because they are often made of multiple materials.  According to Curbie, campaign signs are only recyclable in our area if they are 100 percent corrugated cardboard. Waterproof signs or corrugated cardboard coated in plastic cannot be recycled. Consider reusing those signs or donate them to a community organization to reuse. The metal must be separated as well. The Buncombe County Landfill will take the metal to recycle, or you can drop it off at a metal recycler.



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Updated Apr 28, 2022 10:47 AM
Published Mar 31, 2022 02:00 PM