All signs point to the November 8 election – political signs of course. Several of the county and state candidates in the area have begun dotting Killeen and the central Texas area with their campaign signs over the past two weeks.
Some can be seen near major road intersections in plain sight to passers-by. Others have been placed in empty fields not yet developed along the main roads.
But why have the signs appeared recently and where can they be placed?
Texas law dictates when candidates can begin handing out signs, and state and local laws dictate where supporters can place them.
According to the Texas election code, signs can be put up starting 90 days before an election and can remain up until 10 days after the election. The November 8 general election will take place in 51 days.
In the state of Texas, signs are not permitted to be placed on public property. They can only be placed on private property with the consent of the owner.
Signs also cannot be placed in a right-of-way (i.e. driveway entrance or parking lot entrance).
What are the good practices of candidates when designing signs?
Mack Latimer, Bell County GOP Party Chairman, and Lynda Nash, Bell County Democratic Party Chairman, both shared insight into what they recommend for candidates.
Latimer said typically contestants want to select a color palette that grabs people’s attention, including black and white. When he ran for county party president, Latimer said he ran with a black-and-white sign because many candidates didn’t use that color scheme.
Campaign size also matters, according to Latimer. If applicants decide that the larger signs make sense with their finances, they may attract more attention since they are easier to see from the road and there is no need to strain their eyes to see them. see, he explained.
Do more signs equal more votes? Not necessarily.
According to Latimer, the signs are generally more important in a primary election or a nonpartisan race than a general election.
“Name recognition matters a lot more there,” Latimer said.
Signs before a general election usually serve a different purpose.
“The sign is really a reminder that hey, an election is coming up and that’s my name, go get me,” Latimer said. “We hope voters will be informed and all that.”
Nash had similar feelings of sign strategy.
Drawing from experience running a successful campaign for Harker Heights City Council and Bell County Democratic Party Chairman, Nash said the sign should be eye-catching and there should be plenty of it.
“Anything that grabs a person’s attention, I think, is in there and you can incorporate that into your marketing, I think that’s really important,” Nash said. “And I think the number of signs you have is extremely important because we’re just people at the end of the day.”
She said during her campaign for Harker Heights City Council, the amount of signs she helped spark conversations with voters who recognized her from her signs.
“People pay attention to signs now,” she said. “Professionals outside of Bell County say it’s a waste of money, don’t spend a lot of money on signs. I do not believe it.
The Herald took or obtained photos this month of signs of candidates running for Bell County Commissioner, Bell County Justice of the Peace and candidates for the state House of Representatives.
Bell County Commissioner Bobby Whitson told the Herald he will be bringing out his signs in the first part of October.
Election signs that are in circulation at the moment include the following races:
State House District 54: Brad Buckley (R) and Jonathan Hildner (R)
State House District 55: Hugh Shine (R) and Tristian Sanders (R)
State Senate District 24: Pete Flores (R) and Kathy Jones-Hospod (D)
Bell County Commissioner, Precinct 2: Bobby Whitson (R) and Stacey Wilson (D)
Bell County Commissioner, Precinct 4: Chris Bray (R) and Louie Minor (D)
Bell County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Place 2: Steve Harris (R), Nicola James (R) and Juan Rivera (Write-in)