COURTESY OF THE OUTDOOR CIRCLE
The Outdoor Circle will encourage candidates and residents to show discretion in posting campaign signs this election season. Here, signs are posted along Pali Highway.
Voluntary campaign sign limits urged
An environmental group is asking politicians to abide by voluntary restrictions on campaign signs this election year to limit the amount of "visual pollution" in the islands.
"It would really help considerably in maintaining the beauty of Hawaii statewide," said Mary Steiner, chief executive officer of the Outdoor Circle.
CAMPAIGN SIGN SUGGESTIONS
A look at some of the Outdoor Circle's recommended guidelines for use of campaign signs.
» Individual signs should be no bigger than 4 feet by 2 feet, and the total area of all signs displayed at an individual property should not exceed 16 square feet.
» Sign placement should be limited to 45 days before a primary or general election and taken down within 10 days after the vote.
» Signs should not promote or advertise any business enterprise or commercial product, service or entertainment.
» Property owners who post signs should not receive compensation.
» No signs should be illuminated by any form of artificial lighting.
Source: The Outdoor Circle
On the Net
» The Outdoor Circle: www.outdoorcircle.org
Hawaii law only restricts campaign ads on public property. There is no law regulating what can be placed on private property.
Steiner said the group is mailing recommended guidelines to all political candidates after the July 25 filing deadline, asking for their help in controlling the amount of signage that goes up.
The guidelines, which Steiner said are based on restrictions that have been enacted in other states and been upheld by the courts, include limiting individual signs to 4 feet by 2 feet and taking up no more than 16 square feet at an individual property.
The guidelines also ask candidates to limit sign placement to 45 days before an election and 10 days after the vote.
"This is not an effort to stop people from displaying signs for the people that they strongly believe in and that they want to vote for," she said. "What this does is it limits the amount of visual pollution."
Gov. Linda Lingle, who is seeking re-election this year, said her campaign has tried to place reasonable limits on its use of signs, but said she believes it is part of Hawaii's campaign atmosphere, which also includes the unique tradition of sign waving.
"Our supporters like them, and they like the opportunity to put the signs out," Lingle said.
Steiner said the Outdoor Circle is simply asking candidates and residents to show discretion. She also asked for community help, saying people should contact a campaign if they feel signage by a particular candidate is excessive.
She said a poll taken by the Outdoor Circle indicated that 72 percent of Hawaii residents somewhat or strongly agree that there was an unacceptable amount of signage used in 2004. The poll surveyed 524 residents and had a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
A proposal to limit campaign signage failed in the 2006 legislative session.
Star-Bulletin reporter Richard Borreca contributed to this report.