Campaign signs taken down at polls

Historic City News was called to several local precincts in St Augustine this morning as campaign workers began arriving to find political signs for their candidates on the ground instead of prominently posted as they had been the night before.

On investigation, reporters found that Republican campaign signs were down, in the grass, along North Ponce de Leon Boulevard at one precinct held in the community meeting room of Prosperity Bank. We observed that signs for Democrats still lined the busy US-1 highway.

A poll worker from the Supervisor of Elections Office told reporters that she had taken down the signs that had been illegally placed within the 100-foot buffer zone from the entrance of the polling place.

One Democrat volunteer waiving a “re-elect President Obama” sign did restore some of the other signs that had been removed. A member of the St Johns County Republican Executive Committee replaced the signs for Republican candidates while we were on the scene.

Placing political signs inappropriately or failing to remove them after the election can result in serious consequences, according to the St Johns County Code Enforcement officer.

On authority granted to the Code Enforcement officer under St Johns County Ordinance 94-36, enumerated in Schedule B, violations may result in:

First violation: $100.00 + $18.00 = $118.00
Repeat violation: $250.00 + $18.00 = $268.00
Maximum Penalty per violation: $500.00 and/or 60 days in jail

Serious violations could result in required appearance before the Special Magistrate.
Violations brought before the Special Magistrate could result in fines of up to the amounts indicated below:

Fines are per day the violation exists.
First violation – up to $1,000.00 per day
Repeat violation – up to $5,000.00 per day