Today (Thursday) is election day in Campbell County — and oh, what a political season it’s been for the staff of the LaFollette Press.
We’ve written stories about dozens of races, covered campaign finance contributions, hosted numerous candidate forums with our media partner 1450 WLAF, produced a 16-page guide to the election and published hundreds of political advertisements to better inform the voters.
Now, it all comes down to today.
After the polls close tonight at 8 p.m., the Press will post immediate updates on its website of final tallies and the projected winners in each local race. We’ll also be crashing candidates’ victory parties to snap photos of their celebrations.
While several races are too close to speculate, we anonymously polled Press readers for several weeks on our website and asked them who they believe will win the county’s top seat for mayor.
Two-hundred eighty readers cast ballots. Of the five candidates, E.L. Morton received more than 50 percent of the vote. The full results are published in a graphic on this page. It should be noted that our poll was not scientific. It’s merely a reflection of our readers’ opinions. We allowed non-registered voters to participate and some are likely to have voted multiple times.
(Don’t worry — we have faith our local election officials will not taint the democractic procedure.)
While we wish all of the candidates the best of luck, staffers here are already looking forward to an end of this raucous political season.
If nothing else, our staff is hopeful the plethora of political signs that litter our county will disappear in a timely manner.
So without further adieu, our staffers offer some light-hearted suggestions of what to do with all of those signs.
Disassemble them to be recycled
One responsible solution for leftover campaign signs is to reduce, reuse and recycle them. Signs must be free of staples, metal, tape and wood posts before they can be recycled at most centers, unless the center is otherwise able to receive those materials. Recycling signs help reduce pollution from global warming — including signs belonging to candidates who may not believe in climate change.
Conduct an art contest
Arguably, there are more artists in Campbell County than signs. A contest in which artists put an abstract spin on signs we have seen for several months would be cathartic on several levels. Paint over signs for participants who can promote their own aesthetic and advocacy by creating their own campaign slogans concerning their values and ideas.
Plant them in a garden
Promises of hope, common sense and integrity are great themes to attach to your own garden. Color-coordinate your signs’ palette with a matching flowerbed for a special tribute. If you have a vegetable or fruit garden, you could use certain signs as offbeat markers to help identify what is growing — “county clerk cucumbers” to the left, “attorney asparagus” to the right and “public defender pinto beans” in the middle. Some signs would make great scarecrows.
Turn them into a house
While speaking at our mayoral forum, candidate Fred Cole went a step further with the idea of using remaining signs to build a Habitat for Humanity house. There may not be enough material for a mansion by any means, but surely there is plenty to house a single-issue voter.
Use your imagination
From fashioning signs into a chair, sled or temporary flooring, there are plenty of ways to turn these months-old eyesores into a functional use or statement. Be careful not to take any signs from public or government property. Some candidates may intend to reuse their signs for 2016.
Happy Election Day!
The staff of the LaFollette Press