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DelDOT offers sign placement law reminder ahead of election season

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Primary Election is a month away and campaign signs are popping up throughout the First State.

And there are limits on where and when these signs can be placed in public right-of-ways.

“Per the Department of Elections campaign signs are permitted 30 days before an election and with the upcoming Primary in September, we are now within that window,” said DelDOT community relations director C.R. McLeod.

He says some signs have been up for weeks now - and that’s okay if they’re on private property.

McLeod says right-of-way agents have been out and about for weeks checking to make sure campaign signs were not in public right-of-ways.

“Now there have been ones that have already been placed in the State’s right-of-way and we’ve been collecting those up until this point,” he said.

McLeod says there are a number of rules candidates must abide by.

“The best rule of thumb is 10 feet from the edge of the roadway; that is what we call the clear zone along the edge of the road," he said. "And we really want to maintain that free of any unnecessary signage. So anyone going out putting up signage - we ask that they take a tape measure so that they are being mindful of where they’re placing their signs.”

He says besides outside the 10-feet of the roadway, no signage can be placed on poles, bridges, fences or trees. He notes signs are not allowed in road medians or islands.

McLeod says sign owners are subject to fines of $25 per sign for violation of sign placement and a recovery fee of $15 per sign.

He says confiscated signs will be disposed of after 30 days.

And McLeod says after the Sept 13th primary, signs can legally stay in place until the November 8th General Election.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.