With the Nov. 3 election approaching, campaign signs are popping up around Hall County, but there are some restrictions on where they can go.
Capt. Barry Shaw of the Hall County Marshal’s Office said signs larger than six square feet require a permit and should not have moving parts such as ribbons or flashing lights. They also cannot go in the right of way, on utility poles or on someone else’s property without permission, he said.
Shaw said there are no additional restrictions on political signs beyond the regulations of other signs.
And if someone has questions about where they can place their signs or whether a certain type of sign would be allowed, they can contact the Hall County Marshal’s Office, he said. If someone suspects their signs may have been stolen, they should contact law enforcement, he said.
Gainesville’s sign ordinance also prohibits putting up signs without the property owner’s permission or in the right-of-way. Signs in Gainesville also should not go up on poles or have parts that blow in the wind, such as streamers. The size allowed varies based on the zoning of the property.
Retired Hall County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Brad Rounds, who ran for Hall County Clerk of Courts in the June primary, said he experienced stealing of his campaign signs earlier this year. After he had placed about 350 to 400 signs up around the county, a Sheriff’s Office employee he knew contacted Rounds after noticing about 30 signs hidden behind some pallets at a store on Dawsonville Highway.
“I ran a very clean, professional race, and I expected everyone else to do the same, but then you have people that do this kind of thing,” Rounds said.
Rounds said he filed a police report but no one was ever charged. He did not have further issues with stealing of signs after that, he said.
“You don’t want to be that candidate that thinks they don’t have to follow the rules,” he said. “You’re starting your campaign off wrong to begin with.”