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County, city regulations differ


By Correne Martin


Political and campaign signs on behalf of candidates for public office, or measures on election ballots, are a way for candidates to garner support and citizens to share their personal beliefs with the public. 

But not everyone displays them properly, in terms of location, size and length of time displayed.

Crawford County doesn’t have a specific political sign ordinance, according to County Clerk Janet Geisler. She said the county follows the state statutes on election practices.

According to Wisconsin Statute 12.04(2), anyone may place these types of signs on residential property they exclusively own or occupy during an election campaign period.

However, sign size or shape should not exceed 11 square feet in area (2’x5.5’ or 3.3’x3.3’), unless the sign is affixed to a permanent structure and doesn’t extend beyond the structure’s perimeter. Also, signs must not obstruct a window, door, fire escape or other area that, by building code, could be used as an emergency exit.

There is no regulation of the amount of time a political sign can be displayed around the county, according to state statutes.

Yet, in the city of Prairie du Chien, Chapter 17, Section 6.15 of the zoning code addresses political and campaign signs. 

Within the city, regulations only allow signs to be placed on property within 45 days of the election, and they must be removed within five days after the day of voting. 

The maximum size allowed for political signs in city non-residential zoning districts is 9 square feet (3’x3’), while 6 square feet (2’x3’) is the maximum in residential zoning districts. Signs are prohibited any closer than 15 feet of the public right-of-way, a street intersection nor on or over the right-of-way.

Neither the state statutes nor the city zoning code regulate the type of materials allowed to create campaign signs.

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