Hundreds of Campaign Signs Removed

Fort Worth says many signs are illegally placed

By Chris Van Horne
|  Tuesday, May 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:32 PM CDT
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Fort Worth city officials are removing many signs that are up illegally.

Chris Van Horne, NBCDFW.com

Fort Worth city officials are removing many signs that are up illegally.

Early voting is over, but Fort Worth's early-voting locations can be easily identified by the number of campaign signs -- many of which are illegally placed.

Signs that are within the right-of-way of the road -- typically about 10 feet -- are prohibited. City officials do their best to remove the signs, but they keep popping up.

"If there's a sidewalk and there's a road, then the signs that are there are illegal," said Brandon Bennett, code compliance director. "And like I said, we're pulling hundreds of these and then somebody comes and puts them back out."

Near the Southwest Sub-Courthouse along Old Granbury Road, code compliance crews removed 49 illegal signs on Tuesday afternoon alone.

Dozens of other illegally placed signs along Bryant Irvin Road near the JPS Health Center voting site will likely be removed.

The signs are from numerous candidates running for mayor and City Council, and most of them are between the sidewalk and roadway within the right of way.

In addition, state law prohibits any electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place.

In Fort Worth, any illegally placed sign -- political or otherwise -- can lead to a $500 fine.

But Bennett said few citations are issued during the campaign season because it usually starts with one person and then everyone else thinks it's OK.

Bennett said the campaigns are told about the signs and understanding.

"They get frustrated themselves, because they don't want to portray their candidate as somebody who was putting signs out illegally," he said.

Bennett said there would be fewer signs if more candidates were unopposed.

"I wouldn't say it's any more worse this year," he said. "Most certainly there has been a lot more dialogue this year because there are so many candidates."

He said he expects the number of signs to increase by Saturday when the polls open.

According to state law, all election signs must be taken down within 10 days of the election.

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