With the 2022 primary election less than a week away, campaign signs have continued to sprout like mushrooms, in some cases illegally, along roadways around Montgomery County.
Political campaign signs are only allowed on private residential and commercial properties, according to the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services. County law prohibits placing political signs in road medians, near sidewalks and in other public rights-of-way.
Political signs aren’t allowed on state-maintained roads either, according to State Highway Administration spokesperson Shanteé Felix.
State road property is “for traffic control devices only and signs pose maintenance, sight line and other safety hazards,” Felix wrote in an email Monday.
The SHA will communicate with campaign offices about relocating misplaced signs or crews will remove the signs and store them for recovery, Felix wrote.
The Montgomery County Board of Elections does not have authority over campaign signs, except for when and where signs are allowed to be placed at the polls, operations manager Christine Rzeszut wrote in an email Thursday.
Campaigns may place signs at polling places as designated by the county elections board. Signs must be removed within 12 hours after voting ends, according to the permitting services department. Candidates and their staffers also may not use banners, balloons, inflatables, flag banners, or any signs activated by the wind at voting centers.
Non-compliance can result in a $500 civil citation for each sign in violation and removal of illegal signs in the public right-of-way, according to the county permitting services department. The candidate and sign installer can be held jointly responsible for compliance with sign regulations.
Christine Zhu of Gaithersburg, a rising junior at the University of Maryland who is studying journalism and Spanish, is the Bethesda Beat summer intern.