The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Political Ads and Signs

Reference Number: MTAS-187
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 19, 2017
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A political advertisement must state the name of the person or group funding it and whether the candidate authorized the ad. T.C.A. § 2-19-120.

Within certain counties, it is illegal for anyone to attach posters, show cards, advertisements, or devices (including election campaign literature) on poles, towers, or public utility company fixtures – whether publicly or privately owned – unless legally authorized. T.C.A. § 2-19-144. Candidates are required to remove all election signs on highway rights of way and on other publicly owned property within three weeks after an election, but there is no penalty for failing to do so. T.C.A. § 2-1-116. In addition to these provisions, many cities have local ordinances regulating posters, advertisements, and devices on public property.