My Two Cents: Signs and wonder this election season

It’s a contentious presidential election year, and that means once again Americans – even those eligible people who can’t be bothered to vote – will have to put up with the annoyances that accompany life in a participatory democracy.

No, I’m not talking about the candidates, but the signs. Not signs as in clues or harbingers, but signs as in placards and notices that advertise this year’s crop of candidates. At about this time every year, campaign signs spring up all over the place like weeds.

Of course, I understand the need for such signage. It’s a way to let the public know who’s running for what office and provide name recognition for the candidates.

I can only assume political operatives are practicing a strategy of saturating the market, but I must say I find it rather odd to see a row of signs for one candidate packed into a very small space. Seeing a dozen signs for a particular person jammed into a two-foot long strip of land just doesn’t make sense to me, in that it would seem to be more effective to spread the signs out, so as to cover a greater area. I mean once I’ve seen a sign that points out so-and-so is running for a certain office, I don’t need to see it 11 more times in the next two seconds as I go speeding by in my automobile.

It almost seems like the political powers-that-be believe that more signs equals more votes, which I certainly hope is not the case. When I’m in the voting booth – which would be odd, because I vote by absentee ballot – I’m not making my choices based on who had the greatest number of signs up.

Now, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I take the unusual step of actually educating myself on the issues and the candidates, so that I can make an informed vote.

In fact, a glut of campaign signs is a turn-off for me, but I can’t say I’ve ever not voted for a given candidate because of that.

Still, I have to put this “problem” into perspective. Unsightly campaign signs cluttering the area is a symptom of a healthy representative democracy. Campaign signs mean Americans truly have choices during an election. It’s worth noting that campaign signs are foreign to many nations.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the editor – who also doesn’t care for bumper stickers on vehicles – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.