It’s been 17 days since the May 6 primary so it’s disappointing that candidate signs still litter — and that is the correct word — our neighborhoods and busy intersections.
It’s an indictment of local elections that often the campaigns — and results — are more about who can erect the most signs after strategically determining where they will best be seen than who has achievable ideas on how to enhance the quality of life for their constituents. We would much prefer that campaigns swing harder in the direction of a candidate who is capable of articulating a vision and then a plan for making it real.
The effectiveness of campaign signs rests almost entirely on the ability of a voter who is entering the booth to recall the name of a candidate. These signs simply don’t add much to the conversation as there is little room to make promises that will later be broken.
Forgive our cynicism — but that is what happens when we look out the car window and see signs remaining for an election that has been settled more than two weeks ago. Our belief is that most candidates, if they had been so queried, would have instinctively promised a voter that their signs would be promptly removed when they no longer served the purpose of searing that candidate’s name in the brain of a voter entering the voting booth.
The task of getting them out of our collective eyesight falls on the candidates themselves and their supporters who hammered them into the ground. But that shouldn’t stop any of us from plucking one from the ground and tossing it into a garbage can. Actually, the stakes might come in handy in the yard or garden.
So we encourage the primary candidates whose signs linger to get out there and remove them. It is easy enough to identify
those who don’t do that — their names are on the signs.
If they don’t act quickly — actually, that window has long since closed — then we hope that voters will remember the names of the delinquents next time they enter the voting booth. It would be good information to have when deciding how to cast a ballot.