Candidates' signs line landscape

Candidates' signs line landscape

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's a sign of the season. Politicians and political wannabe's signs and banners jockey for space on fences and walls.

And this year the message is bigger and bolder.

"Before it was only two-color and just words. But now people are spicing it up and trying to get their face with their names so people can see it on ballots," said Alena McEntire, a graphic designer at Aloha Signs & Graphics.

Sign shops are pumping out more orders as election day nears.

And because banners and signs are springing up in neighborhoods and on high-traffic routes, some people say free speech has become a free-for-all.

"The candidates seem to be saying the person with the biggest or the most signs is best qualified for the job. We think viewers are short-changed in that kind of an argument," said Bob Loy of The Outdoor Circle.

For years The Outdoor Circle has pleaded unsuccessfully with lawmakers to regulate campaign signs

"Municipalities and state governments do have the right and ability to control campaign signs if they have the political will to pass the legislation," Loy said.

Right now the only rule says signs cannot be planted or posted on public property like medians, right of ways, and in public schools and parks.

A sign or banner can be as big as a campaign's budget will allow.

So The Outdoor Circle suggests candidates show restraint by limiting the number of signs on any one property, and saving the big banners for rallies instead of roadways.

Meantime, sign makers say please don't blame them.

"There is a lot of signs out there but it's only temporary," McEntire said. "If people can just deal with it for a little bit. It's only for a certain time of the year then it all comes down."

If you see a campaign sign on public property, call the candidate or The Outdoor Circle to have it removed.

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