BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Signs of new campaigners have been emerging early all through Beckley for the election; however, some say they are in violation of rules.
Political yard signs are everywhere during elections. Officials want candidates to know campaign signs should not be put up before 60 days of the election.
City attorney Bill File has said, “City ordinance, very clearly points out that there is a time frame in which it’s permitted. And that’s the 60 day period. If someone wants to put a big billboard out, and pay for it, they are certainly entitled. We’re not trying to dictate who can and who cannot campaign or how they should campaign.”
City attorney Bill File, says in most cases, candidates are just unaware and most are willing to comply once they are warned.
The ACLU has sent a letter to city officials in Beckley saying, “Laws like Beckley’s are in violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits the enactment of laws abridging freedom of speech,” ACLU-WV Legal Director Loree Stark said.
“The City should repeal this unconstitutional ordinance and inform residents publicly, via social media or otherwise, that the City no longer intends to penalize individuals for displaying political signs,” Stark said in the letter.
“ACLU-WV will continue to monitor the situation and keeps all options on the table going forward.”