(NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Election day has come and gone, so why are so many campaign signs still littering our streets?
It is the responsibility of the campaigns themselves to pick up their signs, just as they first put them down.
“It’s a very necessary part of campaigning," said Penobscot County District Attorney-elect, Marianne Lynch.
Contrary to popular belief, the Maine Ethics Commission regulates only the disclosure statements on the signs, not the signs themselves.
The Maine Department of Transportation regulates placement and timing of signs, such as how long they can be kept up.
It is the only enforcement arm of the Maine DOT, according to spokesman Ted Talbot.
Prior to August 1, campaigns were allowed to place their signs within the public right of way for up to 6 weeks during the calendar year.
As of August 1, the state legislature changed so campaigns have twice that time, or 12 weeks per calendar year, to display their signs in a right of way.
"I did notice that signs were up earlier," said Lynch.
In theory, campaigns also now have a much longer window of time to pick up their signs compared to years past.
“If you can think of one good thing about this extended term is that I think it does on the one hand pump some money into the local economy," added Lynch. "There’s a great deal of money spent."
The new legislature also requires campaign signs to display the sign owners' name, address, and the date the sign was erected in the right of way.
This contact information helps the DOT regulate and track election signs, which by law are not allowed to be placed within 30 feet of another sign bearing the same message.
The 'Janet Mills for Maine' campaign has been celebrating since election day but it doesn't mean its work is done.
"It's a lot nicer to be taking down signs when your candidate has just won, rather than lost," said Governor-elect Mills' nephew, Anthony Fiori.
Fiori and Wayne Kinney are volunteers for the Mills campaign and the Democratic Party.
"There's still a lot of stuff to do," said Kinney.
The duo were out in the rain Saturday taking down and collecting their campaign's signs.
"We put signs all the way across the state as far north as Madawaska so our work is still not done," said Fiori. "Have a lot to go."
"People put in a lot of effort in volunteering for an election and we're all tired," said Kinney. "The candidates especially, but all of us are tired, but we also know that there's stuff that has to be done."
"Not too many people want to volunteer after the campaign's over, although, the fact that we won is giving us some energy and making it a little bit easier," said Fiori.
District Attorney-elect Marianne Lynch won her race in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties on election day.
"People were very generous to me and to other candidates, no matter which party you were in, about putting the signs up," said Lynch.
Lynch's work on her campaign didn't end with the victory speech.
"Now the very difficult task begins of us all being responsible and collecting our signs and collecting those things that flew into the woods during a very weather-exciting Fall," added Lynch.
She too has more time to complete what she calls an arduous task, but only days after election night and she has already gone street to street.
She's picking up more than just signs, too.
"We hear in politics all the time about 'taking out the trash,'" said Lynch. "I've never been a fan of that but I am a big fan of picking up trash."
She's encouraging other candidates, regardless of win or loss, to get behind her and leave the side of the roadways better than they found it.
There were a couple of instances reported this election cycle of signs being stolen or tampered with in the state, but NEWS CENTER Maine has learned it was a very small minority.