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See more political signs these days? Thank COVID

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Posted at 1:04 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 15:20:47-04

MCLENNAN & BELL COUNTIES, TX — A 25 News investigation has turned up some interesting anomalies when it comes to campaign signs.

Some don't list party affiliation, some Democrats feature red signs while some Republicans bet on blue.

Studies show signs among the least effective campaign tools, but COVID changed everything, according to experts.

Everyone had expected and prepared for a typical campaign season until COVID changed the game for all of us, in every walk of life.

Suddenly, old-style politics, the shaking hands and kissing babies, took a backseat to other forms of campaigning.

TV, radio and print became more important and yard signs, a less expensive way to reach a mass audience, gained favor again.

On a basic level, everyone seems to agree on their value.

"The number of yard signs has an impact I believe on the voting, the voting population, isn't the idea if you see your name everywhere, you're going to think that. Exactly, exactly. So," said Col. Jon Ker, of the Texas Republican Executive Committee. "Absolutely, it's name recognition," added Chris Kelley Rosenberg, Chairperson of Bell County Democrats.

To candidates, the impact of signs goes a little farther.

"We believe that signs are important for a couple things...name recognition to reinforcement and it also is gives the voter a chance to express themselves," said Kirk Bell, who manages the Pete Sessions campaign for Congress.

He calls it a way to "fly your own flag" and to express your beliefs through a candidate. You might call them signs of the times, but take a close look and you might find some of them confusing. Then again, some people say, so are the times we live in.

As we've reported, some don't mention party, some Democrats sport red signs, some Republicans blue.

Some use a totally different color scheme. But political experts say COVID has put signs at center stage.

"People really want to talk about what their values are, and they want their neighbors, the neighbors they're not talking to because of the pandemic to know where they stand," said Rosenberg.

Some go to great lengths to do it, too.

A man who lives on the flight path to the Waco airport installed signs for Sessions and President Trump on his roof.

When Democrats bought a billboard in Mexia, Republicans bought the one underneath to make fun.

Why go to all that trouble? It's to help people make up their minds.

"So the yard signs in my opinion are not directed necessarily to your support, or the other bits those who are undecided," said Colonel Ker.

It's interesting to note that in these times of divisive politics, Central Texas political operatives want politics and its signs to bring us together and to start a conversation.

"I have a next door neighbor who flies four Trump flags. And he came to our house a few days ago to tell us that our Biden Harris sign has been stolen and we had a nice conversation about you know that most of us want the same thing," said Rosenberg.

Those we talked to for this series seem to agree. Good health, Good government and good opportunities are the signs they look for come election time.