SUMMIT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Hundreds if not thousands of campaign road signs have stopped becoming ads and turned into trash.

Though the Nov. 6 election has come and gone, campaign signs for winners and losers remain, reports CBS2’s Meg Baker.

Up and down New Jersey roads, the signs can still be found stuck in the ground and posted to electric poles.

“The election is over, whoever put ‘em out should collect them up!” said Robert Witherspoon of Irvington, N.J. “All the results are in.”

So who is responsible for taking them down?

“Every sign placed on New Jersey roads has disclaimer who paid for it,” said Montclair political science professor Brigid Callahan Harrison. “That’s the entity usually responsible for cleaning up those signs.”

A lot of times that doesn’t happen and so it’s left to local public works crew, which means public tax dollars are paying for the clean-up.

Harrison explains it is up to municipalities to enforce their own rules for when they need to be removed. In Summit, there is no code enforcement but the city asks candidates to remove signs within a week after the election.

“If one of the city inspectors is out and sees a sign that is hazardous, they will remove it, but then they will notify the candidate or the party” said Christa Anderson, zoning officer for the City of Summit.

Most people CBS2 spoke to say there should be a time limit for how long campaign signs can stay up.

In Old Bridge, if signs are not down 14 days after the election, candidates can be fined $5 dollars per sign.

“I do see some up, yesterday I saw someone pulled over taking some of them down,” said Richard Nichol, of Mount Holly, N.J. “I admired that, thought how rare that probably is.”

If the signs are on private property, municipalities can only ask homeowners to remove it.


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