No more political signs for Buckingham?

Published 12:42 am Sunday, June 16, 2024

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The signs have been piling up at the government center in Buckingham County. Since early voting started at the beginning of May, residents haven’t been shy about putting out political signs in support of their chosen candidate, whoever he or she may be. It’s created some unexpected issues. 

“In Buckingham County, we’re unique because we have early voting at a government facility,” said Buckingham County Administrator Karl Carter. Speaking to the board during their Monday, June 10 meeting, Carter explained that other counties don’t have the same issue, because their early voting sites aren’t exactly as well trafficked. Instead, for Buckingham, you have residents pulling in to pay their taxes at the same time as people registered for social services or coming in to vote. Add in those extra signs blocking the way and it can be hard to pull in or leave the facility at times. 

“Pulling out onto Route 60 out here the other day, I had to pull right to the edge of the road to be able to see down 60,” said District 5 Supervisor Harry Bryant, saying the signs had blocked his view, so he didn’t know if cars were coming or not. 

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It’s also mowing season, Carter pointed out. Every time county staff needs to mow the grass, they have to pick up every sign first and then put them back when it’s finished. That’s why Carter presented a solution on Monday night. For early voting only, he suggested the county eliminate all political signs on the property. 

“I can’t personally see, if someone’s taking the time to be early voting, how they wouldn’t know who they were voting for to start with,” said District 2 Supervisor Cameron Gilliam. He said the county had too many other things to deal with to ask Carter and his staff to be sign police as well. 

Bryant agreed. 

“My thing is, it’s county property, there doesn’t need to be any signs,” Bryant said. 

What changes for political signs?

Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the change. But what actually changed? For any future elections, no political signs will be allowed on county owned property during the early voting period. Signs will be welcome on Primary Day and on Election Day. But for the period where only one location is available for residents to cast a ballot, all political signs will be banned.