Political ads urging those eligible to register to vote, vote by mail, request and submit absentee ballots are dominating television, radio and electronic platforms.
Federal employees are, once again, being reminded not to violate any election-year guidance while exercising their right to vote in support of their chosen candidates and causes. In addition to the Hatch Act, the Department of the Army has also issued direction related to this season.
Here’s what employees need to know:
- Political activities by active-duty Soldiers and Department of Defense employees are subject to restrictions. They may not engage in political activity at any place in a federal building or inside a federal vehicle, nor while on duty – this includes telework – or while wearing a government uniform or badge. Display of buttons, posters or other items depicting partisan candidates is prohibited while at work. Be mindful to ensure none of these items are in view while participating in work video calls.
These restrictions also apply when using government-furnished equipment at any time.
- Employees may display one single bumper sticker per candidate on their personal vehicles.
- Fundraising for partisan political candidates, political groups or partisan political parties is prohibited for all federal employees. Employees may not engage in political activity in a way that implies Army endorsement or disapproval; however, they may participate in peaceful, nonpartisan public demonstrates when off duty and not wearing a government uniform or badge.
- Before posting on social media, DoD personnel should remember to “think, type, post.” Think about the message you want to send and if it may have potentially negative consequences now and in the future. Only post content consistent with Army values that reflect dignity and respect for others.
- Sharing material from a partisan political party, group or candidate is permissible when off duty and not in a government facility as long as the information is not shared with subordinates. Employees are also permitted to friend, follow and like political candidates when off duty and not in a government facility. Employees may list their political affiliation on personal social media profiles.