US political yard signs: raising the stakes

In the US, as in the UK, some people don’t like to reveal who’ll get their vote. But there are suburbs where residents are risking controversy by putting up huge campaign signs in their front gardens.

With days left before US voters go to the polls, many homes in Bay View, Milwaukee are displaying “yard signs” as big as 8ft by 4ft featuring the name of their favoured candidate.

Jim Marsh of South Superior Street has previously been reserved:

“I am pretty quiet about it. I guess it’s speak softly and carry a big sign.”

Similar signs have led to tension further down the same street. WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio reports:

“On one side of the road, there’s another large McCain sign surrounded by households with smaller ones. And on the other side, you have proud Obama supporters like Sarah Berg. She says when she first saw the size of her neighbor’s McCain sign she couldn’t believe it. She wondered whether it violated any laws… Berg planted two standard-size Obama signs in her yard… Now she says it just pains her a bit to look across the street.”

Berg’s next door neighbour Cliff Gribble [also supporting Obama] sums it up:

“This is really exactly what the election is about, the freedom to do exactly what we’re doing. And to me this is kind of the freedoms we have in microcosm, if you will, our side of the street and their side of the street, although like I say it is divided a little, the idea that we can do that in our country is what we’re fighting for. And the very idea that so many people seem to be excited and participating in this election is in my mind very healthy. Even if some of them have the wrong idea.”

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This entry was posted in LDVUSA.


  • Ed Trelinski 28th Oct '08 - 5:16pm

    The yard sign battles are intense. Folks take it extremely seriously and are a lot less reticent about displaying their political affiliation than voters in the UK. There are political groups in Louisiana who are paid purely for GOTV, including plastering a city with yard signs the night before Election Day. Signs are regularly stolen so it is a constant battle to maintain visibility. I will take some photos on Election Day to share with you all.

  • I would be interested to see the pictures. However people in the UK aren’t always reticent it deepends on the area and the campaign.

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