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OUR VIEW: The election is over, please remove the campaign signs

To the victors of Tuesday’s elections, congratulations. To the losers, our condolences.

It’s been a historic and contentious election season. And as the votes are still being counted, we shall see what the future holds for us all.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder to both the winners and the losers, and their many supporters: Be a good neighbor and please remove your campaign signs.

Some communities in northern Illinois set regulations for where signs can be placed on public property and when they must be removed. Campaign signs also are governed by the 2012 Illinois Campaign Sign Regulation Act.

Despite the act prohibiting campaign signs from being “posted on public ways, utility rights-of-way, easements, or any public property,” there are tens of thousands of them on any busy intersection throughout our communities. Municipalities and county authorities in unincorporated areas are ultimately responsible for removal of campaign signs. But candidates or political committees must file with the local authorities or the county board a designated person responsible for the placement and removal of signs.

Violation of the act is a petty offense and can result in a $2 per-day fine for each political sign that is not removed after an election (the Act does not set a deadline).

Municipalities and counties can adopt their own laws regarding campaign signs, but the act does not allow for a less-restrictive ordinance.

And, sort of like some neighbors who keep their Christmas lights up year round, the act allows private homeowners to keep a campaign sign on their property indefinitely. But, thank goodness, the Act requires campaign signs to be made of biodegradable material, so at some point, the sign will wither away.

So, please, candidates, remove your campaign signs as soon as possible. As for property owners, please be neighborly and do the same.

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