It’s a sign of the times — election signs are sprouting up like dandelions throughout the city.
With 46 days to go until voting day, many candidates have erected signs all over Red Deer encouraging voters to consider them come Oct. 21, municipal election day.
Since Sept. 1, candidates have been able to put the signs up on city land, but only in very specific areas. Frieda McDougall, Red Deer Legislative Services Department manager, said historically signs are not permitted on city property.
“We have chosen to support the democratic process by allowing signs to come up for a specific period of time on city lands,” said McDougall. “This is an exception the city adopted many years ago to support the democratic process, but as a result we’ve designated locations we’ve reviewed in terms of pedestrian and vehicular safety, access and sight-lines.”
A detailed list of the 37 designated areas where signs are permitted on public land is available on the city’s website. Signs are generally set up along major roads, including Taylor Drive, 32nd Street, 19th Street, 40th Avenue, 30th Avenue, 39th Street, Ross Street, Spruce Drive, 67th Street, 55th Street, 77th Street and Johnstone Drive.
Signs for municipal elections can stay up until 48 hours after voting day.
Aside from the signs on public lands, there are also rules about putting election signs on private property.
McDougall said signs must be three metres away from a curb or sidewalk.
“We do that just so if a sign were to fall over from the wind, it wouldn’t fall on a pedestrian,” said McDougall.
“And of course the candidates have to ensure they have the property owner’s permission.”
In cases where signs are vandalized or hit by graffiti, the city will notify the candidate and get them to deal with it. If the graffiti is offensive, the city will remove it immediately.
If anyone sees a sign that has been vandalized or hit by graffiti, they are asked to call the city at 403-342-8238.
While many candidates have already put up signs some, such as Jon Wieler and Paul Harris, have decided not to put up election signs at all.