As election season ramps up, law enforcement reminds public of laws around campaign signs

Featured photo: Campaign signs along Bemidji’s Lake Boulevard. Photo courtesy of Eric Callagan.

As the general election draws nearer, and early voting already underway in Minnesota, local law enforcement would like to remind the public about where they can place the sign of their favored politicians.

According to statute, it is unlawful to place any object within the right-of-way of highways.

Signs found on state highway right-of-ways will be picked up by MnDOT. The campaign may retrieve the signs at their district’s headquarters. If signs are found on county right-of-ways, the signs will be picked up by the county highway department.

The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act prohibits advertising devices:

  • On private land without the consent of the owner or occupant
  • On Public Utility Poles
  • On trees or shrubs
  • By painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.

It is also unlawful to steal or damage campaign signs. Both the Bemidji Police Department and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office have responded to numerous complaints of stolen or damaged campaign signs on their property.

“While you may have differing views from what people display on their property, by removing or damaging signs on private property could be trespassing, damage to property and/or theft,” said Chris Muller, Beltrami County Emergency Management Director.


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