VIRGINIA

Campaign signs littering Virginia roads potentially illegal

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A lot of candidates are vying for votes before a Nov. 8 general election by putting up campaign signs along the right of way. But according to Virginia officials, this requires a permit - a regulation the state rarely enforces.

It's easy to count the days left until the Nov. 8 general election, but considerably harder to calculate the number of campaign signs that have taken over just about every inch of grass along Fairfax County medians.

“Any corner you turn you'll see a campaign sign,” said Sharik Fiddique.

Those who work for and analyze campaigns say because so many candidates are running for public office, the quest for name recognition has created this chaotic mess.

“It just makes me more familiar with the names so I like to see them,” said Susan Gallier.

“I think the more they put up they think they are going to get the vote and I think it's probably going to backfire,” said Sunil Mehta.

The Virginia Department of Transportation doesn’t issue permits for campaign signs, and a spokesperson says the agency doesn’t have the staffing, time or money to remove the signs.

Crews will remove signs that obstruct the view of drivers, as they’ve done twice recently along Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield, an artery clogged with candidates.

Political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said candidates know it's worth to skirt the rules, especially rules that aren't enforced, if it means better name recognition.

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