When will we finally be rid of all these political signs? The landscape is filthy with them. The election is over. Can't we just forget about it all? Aren't the candidates supposed to get those signs out of my face now?
— A caller
The race is on!
No, not that race. This race is the race to clean up after that race -- the political races that ended on Election Day, Nov. 6.
There's a lot of cleaning up to do. Anyone who buys this newspaper or just drives Clark County streets won't have missed not only the proliferation of campaign signs on nearly every corner but the scurrilous destruction of many of those signs, too. It's all part of the high-minded civic discourse we call democracy. Or is it?
Anyway, now that all the shouting is over, the pressing question becomes: how long until all of those signs are taken down?
The answer is, pretty soon — depending on the jurisdiction. Because this often-hot topic is governed by a patchwork of rules, Clark County has compiled most local political sign regulations in a single document. Go to Clark County Elections and scroll down to "Political Sign Regulations." The packet includes town-by-town information regarding sign size, placement and removal, an application requiring the name and contact information of the person responsible for removal and street diagrams illustrating how close is too close to the curb … most of which is moot now.
Here's the good stuff: Most jurisdictions consider political signs to be temporary signs. Battle Ground requires temporary signs to come down within a week after Election Day. Camas and Washougal give them 10 days. La Center code is a little off-point; it only says that temporary signs can stay up no more than 120 days per year. Any longer than that, and it needs a permit.
In Vancouver, unincorporated Clark County and Ridgefield, the limit is 15 days. Fifteen days from Election Day is Nov. 21, one week from today.
— Scott Hewitt
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