Across the entire country, political and campaign signs begin being stuck into grounds in late September and early October, gearing up for a very-public election season. Homeowners who want to show support for their party candidate or candidates often put signs in front of their own homes. Business owners often stupidly do the same, cutting off half of their clientele by openly displaying a preference to one candidate or another. The rest of the signs, though, are placed – and usually overly saturated – on public roadsides, town squares, and anywhere else there may be a tuft of grass to prop a sign.
Although nearly every town in the country has laws against placing these ‘election litter’ signs on public property, few get removed, as towns don’t have the time or money to send someone to toss them. Because of this, one Duluth, Minnesota man has taken the problem into his own hands, and has gone out every night for the last two weeks, removing hundreds and hundreds of political ads and signs that have been strewn across his hometown.
“To be quite honest, the signs are just ugly, and it’s some straight-up bulls— that they are strewn all around, cluttering up the scenery,” said Carl Meadows, who Duluth residents are calling their ‘political vigilante.’ “No one likes these signs. They are just stupid. I also can’t figure out what the point of them really is. If you’re a Republican, you’re probably going to vote Republican. Ditto that for Democrats. Everyone else votes for their candidate of choice. There is no one – and I mean no one – throughout the history of time, who has voted based on who had more signs littering the town.”
Meadows, 53, has lived in Duluth his entire life, and he says he never remembers the littering done by the campaign teams to be as bad as it’s gotten the last few years.
“Two years ago, I spent the day mowing and cleaning up my yard. I went to bed, pretty proud of how my yard looked after a hard day out there. The next morning, I woke up, and there were 14 campaign signs in my yard. I nearly burst a vein I was so damn angry.”
Meadows is not alone in his hatred for the signs. Many residents in most towns say that they are ‘disturbed’ by how much trash these elections really create.
“It’s really just too in-your-face, you know?” said Eileen James, a Duluth resident. “We are bombarded by stupid ads on TV, then we leave our homes, and every other house and business has a sign. I don’t fault an individual for wanting to support a candidate, and what you do to your own property is your business. But I tell you, these politicians use their constituents as a dick-swinging contest. ‘Oh, whoever puts out the most signs has the bigger political penis.’ It’s asinine.”
According to research by the Political Research and Knowledge Foundation in Boston, no person has ever seen a political ad or campaign sign and changed their mind about who they were voting for. Their research shows that anyone who is that stupid probably shouldn’t have been considering the idea of voting in the first place.