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City is not enforcing rules on political signs

By Bob Conrad
Published: Last Updated on

Political signs are appearing around town in possible violation of a city ordinance, but the City of Reno will not be enforcing its rules.

This Is Reno was contacted by a number of sources complaining that political candidates have signs posted advertising their campaigns, allegedly in violation of city codes that say political signs cannot be posted prior to 90 days before an election.

The primary election is June 9.

The City of Reno’s PR people did not respond to requests for information this week until pressed further on the issue today.

“After further review, recent court rulings and interpretations, the City cannot regulate speech and content on signage like this,” spokesperson Jon Humbert said. “Political advocacy should follow state and federal election law.”

The Secretary of State’s office did not return a call by the time of publication, but an election guide for 2018 on the Secretary’s website indicated that “candidates should review county and city ordinances for the rules regarding campaign signs.”

A Washoe County official said signs in the county are only allowed once the candidate officially files to run for office, and that only applies to incorporated Washoe County property.

At the state level, the state regulates signs on highways and interstates. Campaign signs at these locations “must not be placed next to highways earlier than 60 days before a primary election,” according to the Secretary’s website.

Meantime, political signs can now be posted within city limits without any repercussion from the city.

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