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Ask the Mayor: Can Candidates Post Signs on School Property?

April 25, 2016, 9:02 AM HST · Updated March 26, 10:40 AM
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Maui High School. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui High School. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mr. Mayor,

Q: Are political candidates allowed to post their “vote for me” signage on public school property? Today I noticed a banner for a candidate’s re-election affixed to the chain link fencing that separates the parking lot at a local school from the grass strip and the public sidewalk. I think it’s inappropriate to post political banners on public school property, especially when that school is a well-known polling place on Election Day.

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A: No, it’s not allowed. state (such as the Department of Education, which would include school fences), county and federal properties are restricted, and permission must be granted for signs to be posted on private property.

Our county clerk indicated that the best guide for posting campaign signs is common sense. Our election rules stipulate that candidates’ signs must not exceed 18 square feet in size; there are no restrictions on the length of time the signs may be posted and no permit is needed.

Sometimes signs get posted by eager supporters without the candidate’s knowledge, so if you see a sign that seems out of place, such as at the school, it wouldn’t hurt to let the candidate know. If a sign happens to be posted at a polling place on an election day, elections staff will remove the sign prior to the start of voting.

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