As we get closer to the election, Hoosiers are choosing to show their support in a variety of ways. From casting their ballot early to talking to neighbors and friends about important issues, it feels like more voters are engaged than ever before. Some are even displaying signs in their front yards for candidates they support. Unfortunately, I have received numerous calls from homeowners who are told they cannot place political signs in their yards because of their homeowners association covenant rules. Under state law, HOAs cannot prohibit homeowners from displaying political yard signs 30 days prior and five days after Election Day.
Many choose to live in a community with an HOA for a variety of reasons. HOAs help keep common areas clean and maintained, and some provide additional services like snow removal. However, no one should be able to restrict a person's right to free speech. That is why I supported a law in 2010 to prevent HOAs from adopting or enforcing a rule prohibiting a member from displaying a political sign on their property 30 days before and five days after the date of the related election. No matter who you are supporting, you have the right to display a sign on your property.
There is some discretion given to the HOA. They may adopt and enforce rules restricting the size of a campaign sign, but they must allow signs that are at least as large as signs commonly displayed during election campaigns. HOAs can limit the number of signs displayed, but only to a reasonable number, meaning an association cannot set this limit at zero signs. Rules and regulations may also be enforced relating to the location of a sign, but homeowners cannot be prevented from displaying a sign in a window or on the ground that is part of the homeowner's property.
State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) represents House District 58,
which includes a portion of Johnson County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.