Campaigning & Sign Regulations

Reporting Sign Violations

Sign Restrictions

Statewide guidelines for sign placement

Wake County Unified Development Ordinance - Article 18

Political Campaign Signs. Political campaign signs are allowed, on private property and in the right-of-way of state-maintained roads, in all districts subject to the following standards:

  • Signs may be located on private property with prior permission of the owner
  • Signs may be erected within specified proximity of polling places, under rules established by the Wake County Board of Elections
  • Signs may only be erected during the period 30 days before the beginning date of "one-stop" early voting
  • Signs shall be removed within ten calendar days following election
  • No sign shall be permitted in the right-of-way of a fully controlled access highway (a highway with no at-grade crossings and access only at limited public roads. Examples include US264, I-440 and I-540);
  • No sign located within the right-of-way shall be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement of the road
  • Signs within the right-of-way may not obscure motorist visibility at any intersection
  • No sign shall be larger than six square feet if it is within the right-of-way. When a political campaign sign is erected in place of another sign permitted at that location and outside of the right-of-way then it may be the same size and is subject to the same conditions as the sign it is replacing
  • Signs must be at least three feet from the edge of pavement
  • No sign shall obscure or replace another sign
  • Signs are not allowed in the medians of any roadways
  • The candidate must obtain the prior permission of any property owner of a residence, business or religious institution fronting the right-of-way where a sign would be erected.
  • NC General Statutes Concerning Signs
    • Planned communities (homeowners associations) limiting the right to display political signs on private property GS 47F-3-121
    • Political signs allowed on DOT right-of-way (highways) GS 136-32
    • Political signs not allowed on electric company fixtures GS 14-156
    • Signs are protected from being damaged or taken down GS 14-384
    • Size requirement for print advertisements GS 163-278.39(b)


N.C.G.S. §163-166.4 states, “No person or group of persons shall hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity in the voting place or in a buffer zone...” The buffer zone will be 50 feet from the entrance to the polling place except where deemed by the Wake County Board of Elections to be necessarily closer, but no less than 25 feet from the entrance to the polling place. There will be publication of information regarding the entrance location and distance of the buffer zone no later than 30 days before the election.

Please visit our Polling Places webpage for more information about buffer zones.

We are guests at all of our polling places and early voting sites. We need your cooperation for us to remain welcome. We ask that all campaigns and campaigners clear the polling places and surrounding premises of all election materials as soon as the polls close.

Early Voting Site or Election Day Polling Place Buffer Zone Violations

Contact the Wake County Board of Elections: or 919-404-4040