Ms. Lynn Lamuth’s letter to the editor (“Signs out too early, in wrong places,” Sun City Independent, June 17, 2020) proclaimed political candidate signage has been both put up unlawfully too early and placed improperly.
While I doubt anyone would classify political posters landscape enhancers by any stretch of one’s imagination, Ms. Lamuth’s assessment of their legality is misinformed.
The signs posted are both within the statute mandated time-frame and proper placement. Arizona A.R.S 16-1019 clearly describes the timeframe, in this case, early June through about Nov. 15, as well as their placement on the county (public) owned and controlled property (see excerpts noted below).
It is also important to note that unauthorized removal, alteration or defacing of such signs carries a high penalty. Regardless of one’s persuasion, I certainly would not recommend such actions as up to four months in prison sounds pretty distasteful.
“A.R.S. 16-1019. Political signs; printed materials; tampering; violation; classification”
“A. It is a class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate for public office…”
“C. Notwithstanding any other statute, ordinance or regulation, a city, town or county of this state shall not remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign if the following conditions are met:”
“1. The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.”
“H. Subsection C of this section applies only during the period commencing 60 days before a primary election and ending 15 days after the general election, except that for a sign for a candidate in a primary election who does not advance to the general election, the period ends 15 days after the primary election.”