Political Sign Regulations by State


Politcal Sign Regulations

We know that campaigning can feel overwhelming. From demanding, hectic schedules, to around-the-clock work, it’s easy for your campaign trail to begin to feel like a blur.

Locking down the right political signs for your campaign is a must. Whether you’re looking for a banner to support your next campaign event, or placing a bulk order of yard signs, signage is a great way to help get your name out there. However, with different rules in each state on political sign placement, it’s easy to get confused.

To help keep things simple as you customize your campaign signs, we compiled a state-by-state guide on political sign rules and regulations for you to follow. Take a look below.


Regulations by State:

Click to select your state.

Alabama

Alabama law is simple: ALDOT prohibits “electioneering communication” from being posted on rights-of-way state highways. Keep your signs OFF state roads, and you’ll be fine. The state of Alabama will remove signage which violates this law. Alabama also requires a disclaimer to indicate sponsorship. i.e. “Paid for by Karen Robinson for City Clerk”.

Get more info here and here.


Alaska

Alaska will prosecute any person or group who places electioneering communication within 200 feet of the entrance to a polling place during the polling period. You also want to avoid posting political signs within 660 feet of state rights-of-way. And don’t install your signs any sooner than sixty days prior to the election date. If any of these laws are violated, DOT & PF crews will remove signs without notification. Please be careful!

The DOT requires identification of the people or group who is responsible for the signage, along with their name and address. Read more here.

Read more about Alaska’s specific political sign laws here.

Alaska political sign disclaimer specifications here.


Arizona

Campaign signs in Arizona must include a disclaimer stating, “Paid for by (name of committee or group)”. More on this code here.

Arizona law protects political and campaign signs as long as they meet the following requirements:

  1. “The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.”
  2. “The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure.”
  3. “The sign is not placed in a location that is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with disabilities act (42 United States Code sections 12101 through 12213 and 47 United States Code sections 225 and 611).”
  4. “The sign has a maximum area of sixteen square feet, if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two square feet if the sign is located in any other area.”
  5. “The sign has a maximum area of sixteen square feet, if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two square feet if the sign is located in any other area.”

Arizona also lists their regulations surrounding homeowners associations. HOA’s can’t prohibit campaign signs, but they can keep you from posting signs “more than 71 days before and 3 days after the election.” More on that here.


Arkansas

Campaigning in Arkansas – do not place political signs in the public rights-of-way adjacent to state highways. Small signs will be removed without notice, but the sponsors of larger sign are allowed the chance to remove signs themselves. Arkansas also requires a disclaimer that “clearly contains the words ‘Paid for by’ followed by the name of the candidate, committee, or person who paid for the campaign sign […]”

Check out the 2017 Memorandum from the State of Arkansas here. And, some more information can be found here.


California

Working on a California political campaign? Please follows these rules carefully, as violators will be billed by the state for signage removal without notice.

Do NOT pace signs within the rights-of-way of any highway, “or be visible within 660 feet from the edge of the right-of-way of a classified ‘landscaped freeway’.” Make sure you include a disclaimer that states, “Paid for by (sponsorship group)”. You will also need to include the top two donors who contributed more than $50,000. If your sign is funded by a candidate, just use the basic disclaimer, “Paid for by (name of group)”.

California’s Caltrans website states:

“A Temporary Political Sign meets the following criteria:

  1. Encourages a particular vote in a schedule election.
  2. Is placed not sooner than 90 days prior to the schedule election and is removed within 10 days after that election.
  3. Is no larger than 32 square feet.
  4. Has had a Statement of Responsibility filed with the Department certifying a person who will be responsible for removing the sign.”

A “Statement of Responsibility” is also required by California state law. Get more information on Statements of Responsibility and California political sign regulations here.


Colorado

Colorado will prosecute anyone who tampers with political campaign signs! Damaging, altering, or removing campaign signs is a misdemeanor and could cost you up to $750 – so, hands off! Other than that, just keep political signage outside the state highway rights-of-way, and you’re good to go. Check out this link and this link for more specific information.


Connecticut

In Connecticut, political signs UNDER 32 square feet DO NOT require a disclaimer identifying sponsors. However, signs larger than 32 square feet DO require the disclaimer, “Paid for by (group or person)”.

For more information on sponsorship disclaimers in Connecticut, check out this link, under section 9-621 (Political Advertising) here.


Delaware

Campaigning in Delaware? Follow these rules to avoid penalty:

  1. DelDOT must remove any sign posted in the Clear Zone (in medians and approx. 10' from the edge of the pavement), including those attached to utility poles anywhere along the roadway.
  2. Any sign in the State's Rights‐of‐Way that is not in the Clear Zone will also be removed.
  3. Exemptions apply outside the Clear Zone only for signs posted during a period of 30‐days prior to and 30‐days after an election, in a district in which an election is held.
  4. Sign owners are subject to fines of $25 per sign and a recovery fee of $15 per sign.
  5. Confiscated signs will be disposed of after 30 days. The fines still apply.

Check out this super informative graphic distributed by DELDOT for more info on sign placement here.

Campaign advertisements costing $500 or more “shall include prominently the statement: ‘Paid for by [name of political committee or other person paying for such advertiment].’” Read more here.

The full resource can be found here.


Florida

Florida law (Section 106.143) requires political signage to include on of the following sponsorship disclosures:

“Political advertisement paid for and approved by (name of candidate) , (party affiliation) for (office sought).”

“Paid by (name of candidate), (party affiliation) for (office sought).”

To avoid distracting you’re your campaign messaging, try placing this disclaimer at the bottom of your sign in small type. More information here.

Sign placement: Florida state law says, “no signs may be placed within 660 feet of the edge of the right-of-way of any state or federal highway or within 100 feet of a church, school, cemetery, public park, reservation, playground, or state/national forest.” Don’t attach signs to trees or post signs that are in poor condition. Florida encourages election volunteers to place signs only on private property.

For more info on sign placement, check out this link. Also, be sure to read this recent notice from the Florida DOT.


Georgia

According to a 2016 Press Release from the Georgia DOT, “Don’t place signs or other objects on the state’s right of way.” The state of Georgia WILL remove “any and all signs” from the state rights-of-way. Georgia takes things seriously, and will prosecute violators with a misdemeanor.

The press release can be found here.

Georgia also states, “The prohibition against other activities within the 150 foot area around the building in which the polling place is located will remain in effect pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-414(a). Any campaigning or other solicitation should not be permitted within this area.” This can be found on Page 10 of this PDF.


Hawaii

As with most states, Hawaii requires political campaign signs contain a standard “Paid for by (group or person)”. Make sure to include the name and address of the sponsor(s). Hawaii law also requires the sign state whether or not the sign is approved by (if funded by the campaign), or not approved by(if funded by a third party). Failure to include any of this information could result in a huge fine (up to $5,000!), so please be careful!

More on disclosure requirements here.

Keep signs outside the state highway rights-of-way, and don’t post signs within 200 feet of the designated polling place from 1 hour before the polls open until they close. Check out this comprehensive factsheet from Hawaii for more information.


Idaho

Campaigns in Idaho – signs must include a disclaimer that provides the name of the sponsor. i.e. “Paid for by (person or group).” You can find more information here.

Keep your signs outside the state highway rights-of-way, highways, areas that are “visible from interstate or primary highways”, or drainage ditches. Make sure your signs don’t look like Danger Signs, or Directional Signs, as to not be confusing. The state of Idaho will remove signs that violate these guidelines. Placing a sign on public or private property WITHOUT permission could get you a misdemeanor, so be thorough before posting your sign! You can find more information here.


Illinois

Illinois loves their campaigners! Under 65 ILCS 5/11-13-1 (read more here) the posting of campaign signs on residential property at any time may not be prevented. Sign size is restricted however. Keep campaign signs AWAY from polling locations by at least 100 feet. You can read up more here.

Make sure to include your sponsorship disclaimer identify the responsible party. i.e. “Paid for by (group or person).” For more info, check out this link.


Indiana

You’ll want to be very diligent about including disclaimers during your political campaign in Indiana. For political yard signs, leaflets, posters, or direct mail pieces sent to over 100 people without the correct disclaimer, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor, and can result to up to a $5,000 fine or a year in jail...or both! Yikes. Read more here to make sure you’re covered.


Iowa

If you’re campaigning in Iowa, make sure to obtain permission from whatever property owner or lessee you’re looking to place your signs on. You also need to be careful when looking to place signs on property owned by the state. When election day rolls around, make sure that you don’t have any signs with a 300 feet of any polling location.

Download this PDF for a go-to guide for campaign sign rules in Iowa.


Kansas

Obviously any sign placement on private property needs to be granted permission by the owner first in Kansas. When polling day rolls around, be extra cautious about your political sign placement; political messaging with 250 feet of a polling location could be considered “electioneering” and is considered a class C misdemeanor.

For more general campaigning inquiries, check out this FAQ for a great compilation of information.


Kentucky

If you’re campaigning in Kentucky, get your disclaimer rules straight on political advertisement and signs. To make sure you’re meeting the right regulations, read this link.


Louisiana

Campaigning in Louisiana? Be extra careful about electioneering. Louisiana prohibits electioneering (this includes political signs) within a whopping 600 feet radius of any polling place. Make sure you get your facts straight and read more here.


Maine

When putting up campaign signs in Maine, pay attention to the rules of the roadways. Be careful not to attach political signs to traffic control signs, utility poles, or trees. You’ll also want to make sure that none of your campaign signs imitate any given traffic sign too closely to cut down on confusion. Read more about political signs and their placement in Maine here.


Maryland

If you’re campaigning in Maryland, you’ll want to read up on time constraints and placements of your political signs. Get your facts straight and read up more here.


Massachusetts

Campaigning in Massachusetts? Make sure you brush up on your electioneering rules! When you’re placing political signs, be sure to keep them at a bare minimum of 150 feet away from any polling location. Read up more on the ins and outs of electioneering in Massachusetts here.


Michigan

If you’re putting up campaign signs in Michigan, be sure to look into placement and timing rules. For example, signs have to be at least 30 feet away from the edge of roadway for highways without curbs. Also, you’ll have to be sure to get permission from certain property owners for legal placement. Read more on these rules here.


Minnesota

If you’re campaigning in Minnesota, the laws around campaign signs are very specific to the specific area that you are in. Be sure to contact your local jurisdiction for more information on placement, timing, and disclosure rules. If your area doesn’t have a sign ordinance, campaign signs can be placed in any size and number throughout an entire year! Read more here.


Mississippi

For those campaigning in Mississippi, you’ll want to check out your traffic laws. It’s illegal to place campaign signs on the the right-of-ways on state highways. Plus, signs with steel or wooden posts are also seen as hazards. Read more about campaign signs and placement laws here.


Missouri

When you’re putting up campaign signs in Missouri, you’ll need to get specific on your disclaimer laws. This link has an easy-to-follow table to help you determine what disclaimers need to go on which signs. Read up!


Montana

There are a couple laws that you’ll need to get straight if you’re campaigning in Montana. For starters, be sure to obtain permission before putting up political signs on any private property. You’ll also need to be sure to keep any signs at a bare minimum of 100 feet away from any polling location. Read more about Montana’s political sign laws here.


Nebraska

In Nebraska you can not affix a sign to any fixture, and where you place your yard signs is important. For example, you could get a Class V misdemeanor for placing it 200 feet within a polling place or private property. Read more in this link, this link about electioneering, and this link about signs.


Nevada

Campaigning in Nevada - download the entire election campaign guide of the State of Nevada. Be sure to check out page 8 before making your campaign signs! Spending more than $100 on an individual campaign sign or advertisement? Don't forget to include the below information or you could face a penalty:

  • name
  • phone number
  • web page URL
  • candidate or organization that approved the message on the sign

Read more here.


New Hampshire

Be careful not to place your signs on public property, affixing them to utility signs, or in a way that blocks peoples view of traffic. New Hampshire also has strict laws around removing or defacing political signs and other advertising. You could face up to $1000 fine and criminal penalties - ouch! New Hampshire requires specific funding, candidate, organizations, and additional disclosures on every political sign.

Be sure to read New Hampshire's Politcal FAQ's to make sure you are following all the regulations when it comes to your election signage.


New Jersey

Running a political campaign in New Jersey? This means you need to ensure you have a specific disclaimer on all campaign advertisements and communications. According to New Jersey regulations "the communication shall clearly state the name and business or residence address of the committee, group or person, as that information appears on reports filed with the commission, and that the communication has been financed by that committee, group or person." Read more here.


New Mexico

According to the 2018 Candidate Information Guide, the candidate or organization who is sponsoring the sign or communication needs to be displayed on each sign. Be sure to check with the local NM county and local municipality, each one may have additional rules and regulations. Read more here.


New York

New York political signs can not be placed anywhere that obstructs the city from doing their job (maintenance, construction, etc), expressways, and medians. If any signs cause distraction, deterrence from maintenance or construction from completing a project or job, etc, NYSDOT will confiscate the sign(s).

Also, some of New York's local counties and municipalities limit the time when you can post election signs, so be sure to check with your specific city/county regulations. Read all about NY elections do's and don't here.


North Carolina

North Carolina signs require each campaign communication to include the name of the candidate or organization that paid for the communication in a font size 12 pt or larger, and must be equal to or more than 5% of the communication. Read more about North Carolina election information here.


North Dakota

North Dakota political signs are required to include a disclaimer noting who the communication was paid by. Failure to have the correct disclaimer could result in a class A misdemeanor.
Check out this handy download of ND's Helpful Campaign Practices.


Ohio

All election and political communications are required to contain the organization or candidate name that is paying for the communication. The disclaimer must also include the address. Read more sign requirements here.

Read more about all Ohio regulations here.


Oklahoma

According to Oklahoma State Courts Network, electioneering is prohibited within a distance of 300 feet during an election. Failing to adhere to this regulation could result in a misdemeanor.

You can find more Oklahoma sign and election regulations here.


Oregon

Electioneering law in Oregon requires all political signs to remain 100 feet from the election office, this includes election signs on vehicles. Election signs in Oregon are also prohibited from being displayed on highways. Be sure to check with local county and municipalities as they may have additional election sign requirements.

Check out all election laws here.


Pennsylvania

Election signs are not allowed in the same building where the election ballot is taking place. Pennsylvania also requires specific advertising disclaimers, like the following: "If a corporation or unincorporated association makes an independent expenditure for a general public political advertisement that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or ballot question, the advertisement must contain a disclaimer that clearly states who financed the expenditure for the communication. See § 1638(a)(2)."

Read more about Pennsylvania's election and political sign regulations here.


Rhode Island

If you’re campaigning in Rhode Island, be cognizant of your sign placement! When putting up political posters, signs, or any documents relating to office, keep in mind that they have to be a minimum of at least 50 feet from the entrance of any voting or polling locations. Read more here.


South Carolina

If you’re campaigning in South Carolina, be sure to familiarize yourself with the placement laws for political signs. For example, you cannot place signs or posters within a right-of-way. If you do, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and some charges as well.

Be extra cautious when the polls are open, as you aren’t permitted to have political signs within 200 feet of these locations. Download this PDF to read more.


South Dakota

For political campaigns in South Dakota, there are no statewide rules on campaign sign placement and timing. This means that you’ll need to get in contact with your local juristiction to find out exactly where and when you can place your signs. Read through this campaign FAQ for some great overall campaign tips, and reference question number 24 for sign-specific inquiries.

Also, be sure to include disclaimers (“paid for by:”) on your political signs. Failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor. Read more here.


Tennessee

When looking to place campaign signs in Tennessee, be sure to include disclaimers on any political material, so that it is clear who/what campaign paid for the messaging. You can read more on political sign disclaimers in Tennessee here.


Texas

Texas, like many other states, has specific laws surrounding political sign disclaimers. For any political advertising you may be doing, make sure that either the full name of the person, the political committee, OR the candidate is included on the sign. Read more on the specifics of disclaimers on political signage here.


Utah

Utah has specific rules on electioneering to be sure to read up on. Make sure that any political signs you’re looking to place do not come within 150 feet of a polling place. Read more on Utah’s rules surrounding electioneering here.

Utah also has some laws around paid advertisements that are important to acquaint yourself with. Read more here.


Vermont

Campaigning in Vermont? Listen up! While most states have specific distance limits placed on political signs in regards to polling places, Vermont does not. In fact, political sign placement on Election Day is regulated by the presiding officer. This may mean that you can get a little closer to places of polling as long as you’re not impeding anyone on their way to vote, but be sure to check with your local jurisdiction. Read more about it here.


Virginia

If you’re campaigning in Virginia, there are some very specific laws that you’ll want to read up on regarding political sign disclosures, including the minimum size font that you need to use! Make sure you’re in the know and read more here.


Washington

The state of Washington has specific rules covering the proximity of advertising to highways and scenic systems under code RCW 47.42.030. You may also need to look into getting permits to post political signs in some areas. Read more here.

Washington also has specific rules on candidate photos used, political party references, and disclaimers. Read more in this great link.


West Virginia

When placing political signs in West Virginia, be careful to check in with the Division of Highway Rules. For example, you can’t place a sign or poster on or above a Division of Highways right of way. You also need to be careful not to block traffic signs or to obscure any road views. Read more specifics here.

As do many other states, West Virginia has rules about electioneering. Make sure to keep your political signs of all kinds at least 100 feet away from any polling place, or else you could face a fine of up to $1000 or a year in jail (or both)! Not ideal. Read more about West Virginia’s electioneering rules here.


Wisconsin

Get your rules straight on electioneering in Wisconsin. Be sure to keep any political signs at a bare minimum of 100 feet away from any place of polling. Though, interestingly enough, the candidate him or herself is not prohibited from these same distance restrictions, so long as they abstain from any electioneering themselves. Read more on the specifics here.

You’ll also want to brush up on the correct disclosures for political signs in Wisconsin. Read up here.


Wyoming

When placing political signs in Wyoming, be sure to keep your polling places in mind. When the day of the election rolls around, you don’t want any of your signs within 100 yards of a voting location.

Make sure your disclosures are also tied up correctly on any political signs you’re looking to place. Read more here.


There are so many important details that go into political campaigning. We hope this helps ease at least a bit of your load as you order your signage. Of course, if you have any further questions about rules and regulations, it is always best to contact your state and local municipality before placing a bulk order!

Furthermore, if you have questions about design, we’re here. After all, simple, quality political sign customization is our speciality.


*Disclaimer: We used internet resources to compile as comprehensive of a list of rules and regulations as best as we could. Signs of Liberty urges you to always check with your local jurisdiction to be sure that you are operating within the legal confines of your area.

Posted in Uncategorized on Jun 18, 2018