Political SignPolitical campaign signs are a rite of the Fall election season. As predictable as harvest moons, falling leaves and football games, each autumn inevitably ushers forth a massive proliferation of campaign signs vying for public attention and votes.
Inexpensive and easy to distribute, small political signs are viewed as an effective advertising mechanism by candidates, an administrative and legal headache for the municipalities charged with regulating them, and either an inspiration or eyesore by the general public.
Love them or hate them, signs promoting political candidates or ballot issues implicate a unique regulatory framework with deep constitutional roots.
Campaign messages enjoy substantial protection under both the United States and Washington Constitutions. Courts have consistently acknowledged that "the First Amendment has its fullest and most urgent application to speech uttered during a campaign for political office." Political signs are also protected by RCW 29.84.040, which criminalizes the removal or defacement of lawfully placed political signs without authorization.
The extent of governmental regulatory authority over political signs depends in large
part upon a sign's location. Signs displayed on private property are treated
differently than those located on public land, and public property is legally
differentiated into various categories.
1 For the end, concerning the wine-presses, a Psalm of David. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! for thy magnificence is exalted above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest put down the enemy and avenger.
3 For I will regard the heavens, the work of thy fingers; the moon and stars, which thou hast established.
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 Thou madest him a little less than angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour;
6 and thou hast set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 sheep and all oxen, yea and the cattle of the field;
8 the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea, the creatures passing through the paths of the sea.
9 O Lord our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth!
4100 Bob Wallace Avenue SW
Huntsville, AL 35805
Telephone: (321) 253-0424