Are you looking for more information on political sign laws and regulations in Howard County? If so, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive overview of the laws and regulations governing political signs in Howard County, Maryland. We'll discuss how to obtain a permit for a sign, how to file a complaint about an illegal sign, and the consequences of using the Howard County seal for political purposes without express written approval from your local government office. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) requires permits for outdoor advertising signs placed next to roads maintained by the MDOT SHA.
Before installing or placing a sign, you must first contact the local government office for approval. Counties, towns, and cities also have signage regulations and you must obtain a permit from the local government office before receiving approval from the MDOT SHA. Upon approval by your local government, contact the MDOT SHA Outdoor Advertising Section to request a signature or download an application. State and federal laws and regulations require permits to track the number, use, location, spacing, and maintenance of signs. Permits ensure that signs are properly maintained, removed when they have served their purpose, don't clutter up roadsides, and don't create a safety hazard.
It's also important to note that it's illegal to use the Howard County seal for political purposes, including campaign ads. In addition to all other legal or equitable remedies, the Administrative Director and Howard County may enforce the provisions of subsection 22.101 (f) with civil penalties in accordance with Title 21 (“civil penalties”) of the Howard County Code. This law also allows counties and municipalities where the sign is located to remove the signs from the rights of way maintained by the State and issue the civil penalty. The Howard County Board of Elections office (410-313-5820) is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia MD 21046. You can review and update your voter registration here, online, or in person at the Howard County Board of Elections office. It's important to note that it's illegal to use the Howard County seal for political purposes, including campaign ads. The sixth question on the ballot will ask whether voters are in favor of or against a law that was passed by a majority of the county's Democrats. The apparent inclusion of a replica of the Howard County seal in pro-Janssen Evelyn election advertising videos made by the Howard Progressive Project PAC is a very disturbing act that should be immediately investigated. Instead of further spreading this possible violation by sharing these videos on her election campaign's social media pages, Evelyn should have immediately contacted the Howard Progressive Project PAC and requested that they remove the image of the county seal from her videos.
As a former high-ranking Howard County official and aspiring County Council candidate, Janssen Evelyn should know that this use of the county seal is a potential violation of county law and should be actively discouraged. The use of the Howard County seal for political purposes has been illegal since 2004 when the Howard County Council adopted CB74-2004, a municipal bill that banned this practice and added this restriction to the Howard County Code of Ordinances. This bill was introduced by then-County Council President Guy Guzzone after a political controversy in early 2004 when County Councilman Christopher Merdon included a replica of the Howard County seal in an election fundraising letter sent to 250 county alcoholic beverage license holders. It's essential for all citizens to understand their local laws and regulations regarding political signs. Not only does it help keep our roadsides safe and free from clutter but it also helps ensure that our elections are fair and free from any potential violations. We hope this article has provided you with more information on political sign laws and regulations in Howard County.
Remember that it's illegal to use the county seal for political purposes without express written approval from your local government office. If you have any questions or concerns about these laws or regulations, please contact your local government office for more information.