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How putting up lawn signs is like the ballet

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If there is a seasonal industry in the town of Ballston that is thriving, it's political signs in the fall.

For travelers along Route 50, Ballston is well-known for its array of signs.

Heavily trafficked thoroughfares in the town are hot spots and even the roads less traveled have become valuable spots for signs this year.

In many cases the signs are lined up with no regard for party affiliation, as each side amasses more ammunition. There is no sign gap in this sign race.

"They obviously have become an important part of campaigning," said town Supervisor Patti Southworth.

Southworth, an Independent, is running against Republican Pete Connors.

For her part, Southworth wasn't sure how many signs she had up. She reuses ones from past elections and has lost count of her total.

"I think they are effective, considering the number of calls I get," she said. "It's just one other way to get things out there."

In the past, Southworth stood out with large campaign signs as big as a small car.

This year those signs were slightly dwarfed by a billboard the town Republicans bought space on overlooking Route 50.

This election season Southworth estimates her campaign has spent about $1,000. Her Republican opponents have definitely outspent her, estimating that they've spent thousands of dollars, with most of that going toward a billboard.

Republican Town Council candidate William Goslin said he spent about $4 per lawn sign and bought one hundred signs.

He said the most interesting day with the signs was 45 days before the general election when they could start putting signs up. He and another Republican candidate were up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, trying to scope out the best spots and saw their opponents had the same strategy.

"It's like a ballet," Goslin said.

The Republicans pride themselves on their uniform signs, which Goslin feels makes them more visually appealing and helps spread their message.

"Our competitors signs have four different designs to them," he noted, referring to the previous years of signs that Southworth still uses. "Put them on the same corner it looks like a yard sale."

Southworth argues that the variety of signs make them eye-catching and help them stand out. She added that they're not intended to be distracting and affect people when they're driving.

I took photos of the signs. To see them, click here and here.

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