Danbury Mayor Reveals How Campaign Signs Disappear So Fast
It took them months to be put up all around our towns, and by the time election day came, there were hundreds of them on front lawns and all along the roads.
We're talking campaign yard signs, probably one of the most important ways for people to know who's running for what job in their town or district.
It starts off slow back in September, you see a sign here and there. By October they seem to multiply two fold, and by the time you get about a week away from the election, the signs are everywhere, just about every yard, and just about all the major intersections on the roads are filled with signs from just about all the candidates.
So how do they disappear so fast? Usually a day or so after the election, your hard pressed to even find a single sign anywhere. Is there a secret society of people who come out in the middle of the night and take them? Is there a specific crew that each political party has that is assigned to take them down? Do they magically disappear after midnight on election day?
To answer this question, I turned to a veteran of political campaigns, and someone who has a plethora of his own political signs, Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo, and here's what he told me about the magic behind the disappearing yard signs.
"Years ago, we would wait till the following weekend to go out and remove the signs basically because you were so exhausted following the campaign and election night. Through the years, we found that people would start complaining about the signs being on their property, or all over city streets, even a day or so after the election. So what we do now is amass teams that go out and do kind of a group pick up."
Wouldn't gathering the signs be the responsibility of the individual candidate?
"It used to be years ago, the candidate would be responsible for his or her own signs, but then we figured that if you were stopping for your own sign, and there's other signs from members of your political party, then why not grab them when your there. I wind up with one or two pick-up trucks full of signs that I take home, sort them out, and bring them to party headquarters and ask the individuals to come by and take their particular signs. It's now become a mass effort, and we've gotten so much better at picking up those yard signs as quickly as possible. People are nice enough to let us display them on their property, and we understand that they want them down as soon as the election is over."
Have you always taken care of your own signs so quickly?
Believe it or not, when I was running in Danbury's 3rd Ward, I would leave the celebration party at 11 o'clock or midnight, and I would drive my entire district and pick up all my signs. The next day people would call me and say, "where did all your signs go?" And some people would even say they wanted me to leave the signs so others could see who they supported, and that they won."