Taxpayers could foot bill to remove election signs

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News 12 11pm / Sunday, May 25, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you drive in Augusta, you see them on the side of the road. Political signs asking for your vote.

This week the city will ask candidates to pick up their signs by Friday. We are more than half way through the 10 day time period those seeking public office must have signs picked up, but if they don't tax payers will pay for someone to do it for them. News 12 is on your side with some answers.

You can drive just about anywhere in Augusta and you'll still have candidates asking for your vote.

"See a lot of political signs. They seem to be everywhere right now," one Augusta driver told News 12.

It's been five days since the City of Augusta elected new leaders, and even though only two local elections are in the run off, signs for almost every candidate are still up.

"Unfortunately it's a never ending battle. This has been going on for as long as I can remember, as long as I've been voting since I was 18, many years ago," a concerned tax payer said.

After elections candidates have a 10 day grace period, which ends Friday, to pick up signs still on the side of the road. The board of elections wouldn't say if campaigns could be fined if signs don't come up, only confirming they would work closely with code enforcement to make sure they did. Meaning your tax dollars could pay for the man power, gas, and disposing of now useless signs.

"Absolutely dead, not needed expense the city has to burden. Tax or fine those people. It does come out the tax payer's fund that could go somewhere else," Rick Rogers said.

Rogers says one way to make sure winning or losing candidates pick up their signs is adding a deposit to the qualification fee.

"Whenever your signs are taken down you get your bond back, but until then there's a bond to be posted," he said.

If tax payers having to foot the bill isn't enough to shame some candidates, Rogers says they should consider what political signs will become if the city can't collect them all.

"They are trash-- just litter. On the side of the road, in the ditches and clogging the drains. They are just an eye sore," he told News 12.

Candidates have until this Friday to pick signs up. If you see some after the 10 day grace period, you can call the board of elections 706-821-2340 with specific complaints.

Candidates in the July 22 runoff can keep signs up, but they still have to bring them down ten days after the election

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