With advanced voting set to start on Monday and Election Day just weeks to follow, the amount of signs in the area is becoming overwhelming. From the candidates perspective, there are three distinct schools of thought regarding placement.
The first school is the "no rules" school of thought. No doubt, you can determine which candidates have adopted this approach. You will find their signs littering the rights of way and scattered hither and yon. Cobb DOT and Code Enforcement dutifully sweeps them away and the candidate promptly places them right back. The second school of thought is just the opposite. These candidates adhere only to the placement of signs by express permission. The signs are likely to remain in place throughout the process. The drawback to this approach is that it is difficult to convince homeowners (many of whom you are just getting to know) to place a sign in their yard or at their place of business. Meanwhile, you watch as your opponent has signs seemingly everywhere and worry that your name is unknown. The third approach seems to be the most popular. Most candidates adhere to the rules and place signs on private property. However, the candidate will drop a few signs on a vacant lot, a wooded area or other locations here and there just to gain a little more visability.
I can tell you from personal experience that the "sign wars" become significant. I have grown frustrated with one opponent in my race who loves the old "garage sale" or "open house" trick of putting out signs late on Friday after DOT/Code Enforcement has closed and picking them back up before DOT/Code Enforcement heads out. As I am trying to walk neighborhoods and place signs only where allowed, it is disheartening to see someone gaining name recognition in high traffic areas by breaking the rules. As July 31 nears, no doubt we will see the old 1970s song be more and more true as signs start "blocking up the scenery and breaking up myy mind."
Justin O'Dell is a Candidate in the Democratic Primary for State House of Representatives, District 41. He is an attorney in Marietta and has been active with the Marietta Kiwanis Club and various non-profit agencies in Cobb County, including serving as Board Chairman of Reconnecting Families, Inc. Justin is a recipient of the Georgia Power Citizen Where We Serve Award and the Justice Robert Benham Award for his community services. He is endorsed by numerous Democrats, including former Governor Roy Barnes and former U.S. Congressman Buddy Darden. He is also endorsed by the Cobb County Fraternal Order of Police.