Hatch Act and Political Activities
The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of Federal employees both on and off duty. (Members of the Senior Executive Service, are subject to further restrictions and should contact the General Counsel's office for additional guidance.) Violations of the Hatch Act may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal.
The term "political activity" means doing something in active support of or opposition to a political party, a candidate for partisan political office (e.g., President, senator, representative, state or local legislature or office), or a partisan political group (e.g., "Historians for Smith"). Examples of political activity that would violate the Hatch Act if done while on duty or using Government property include: circulating a candidate's nominating petition within your office; using the PC in your office after work to produce a brochure in support of a candidate's campaign; sending e-mail invitations to campaign events to friends within the agency; and using National Archives' Internet connections to forward e-mail messages received from a partisan campaign or someone supporting a partisan candidate. Permissible political activity under the Hatch Act would include voting for the candidates of your choice; expressing opinions about candidates and issues; assisting in voter registration drives.
For a more comprehensive view of what the Hatch Act allows and disallows, please review the list of Hatch Act Do's and Don'ts shown below. Questions concerning the Hatch Act may be directed to Christopher Runkel, Office of General Counsel, either by telephone at 301-837-1750, by fax at 301-837-0293, or by e-mail addressed to "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Summary of Hatch Act Provisions
|As a National Archives employee you MAY:||As a National Archives employee you may NOT:|
Nonpartisan election An election in which none of the candidates may run as a Democrat or Republican, or an election involving a question or issue that is not specifically identified with a political party (e.g., state constitutional amendments, referendums, ballot initiatives, bond issues, or municipal ordinances).
Partisan election or partisan political office Any election for public office in which at least one person is running as a Democrat or Republican.
Partisan political group A committee, club, or other organization which is affiliated with a political party or a candidate for public office in a partisan election, or organized for the purpose of supporting or opposing the activities of a political party.
Political activity Doing something in active support of or opposition to a political party, a candidate in a partisan election, or a partisan political group.
Some National Archives employees may have additional rights under the Hatch Act. This latter category includes persons with "Schedule C" appointments and non career SES employees. For questions, contact the General Counsel's office.
This summary provides general guidance only. Employees with specific questions should contact the General Counsel's office or the Office of Special Counsel before engaging in political activity.
Some prohibited political activities might be criminal offenses under title 18 of the U.S. Code. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 210, 211, 594, 595, 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, 607, 610.