Campaign signs have got to go, and soon

Those along state highways must be down by Friday

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Political candidates have until the end of this week, and in some cases until the middle of next week, to remove campaign signs that have been cluttering roadsides across Clark County.

The charge to pick up those signs has been a team effort, Clark County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathleen Lawrence said Monday.

"People are helping each other out," Lawrence said by phone. "You can already see that when you start driving around. There's a lot fewer (signs)."

Lawrence said Democrats have a central location where their volunteers can bring any signs they've removed. Campaign managers also are organizing cleanup efforts and keep a record of where most of the signs are located.

Republican leaders weren't available for an interview on Monday, but in the past have used similar strategies to efficiently remove their candidates' signs.

There are slightly different rules about political sign removal, based on which jurisdiction the sign is located, according to the political sign regulations posted on Clark County's election website. The guide includes a mixture of political sign regulations from the county, several cities within the county and from the state's transportation department.

The deadlines for political sign removal are as follows:

• Signs along state highways: 10 days after the election

• Signs in Vancouver: 15 days

• Signs in Washougal: 10 days

• Signs in Camas: 10 days

• Signs in other parts of Clark County: 15 days.

Heading into campaign season, the county advised political candidates to keep a map with information about where all of their campaign signs had been posted. That tends to make sign removal easier, officials say.

"Campaigns with a master map of sign locations and a pickup schedule will find it easier to comply," according to information provided on the county's website.

In previous years, the county has responded to complaints of lingering political signs by yanking some of the signs or reminding candidates that their signs must go.

Ten days from Election Day is Nov. 16. Fifteen days from Election Day is Nov. 21.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523; http://facebook.com/reportermathieu;http://twitter.com/col_politics;stevie.mathieu@columbian.com