Think about it this way. They don’t want you to look at the sign and remember what PROPOSITION K is, they want you to look at PROPOSITION K on the ballot and remember “Sign Said K Bad”. They’re not trying to form your opinion as such… they’re trying to put in mental triggers. Plus, let’s face it - which is easier to remember, “No on Proposition K” or “No on Earlier Redistricting for State Legislators and Governor’s Councillors”?
Same kind o’ deal with the cornflakes that Slithy Tove mentioned earlier. The idea isn’t to make you buy cornflakes. The idea is that when you go to the store to buy cornflakes, the sight of their particular brand will conjure up images of the happy family and whatever else in your mind and you will gravitate towards it.
These signs provide another public service: cues on what areas/neighborhoods to avoid or gravitate toward when moving. Last spring my wife and I were doing the Rice Valley Tandem Ralley, a 100-mile bike ride through part of California’s Sacramento Valley. As we rode by walnut orchards and rice paddies, hour after hour we passed farm lawns and yards festooned with “Defend Marriage” signs. One lawn had seven signs in it (who drives by other than the neighbors way out here?). At the end of the ride, we decided that we had completed the Defend Marriage Century, and that Butte County was not on the list of places to retire to!