Absentee balloting opens Sept. 22
Be aware of policies restricting political activities and use of City resources for political activities in the work place
Election season is in high gear with all City Council and mayor seats on the ballot for the Nov. 7 municipal election. You have a right to engage in political activities on your own time, and it is important for public employees to know and follow the requirements for keeping political activity separate from the business of City government. Even just an appearance of impropriety during campaign season can shake the public’s trust in you and the City.
There are state and federal laws and City policies that restrict political activities in the workplace and the use of City resources for political activities. These include:
- Employees may not engage in political activity during work hours.
- Political activities cannot interfere with job duties.
- Employees may not post or distribute political materials in any City facility or on any City-owned equipment.
- Employees may not use City phones, computers, vehicles, e-mail accounts or other City-owned equipment for political purposes. (Please note: This includes sending e-mails or creating blogs using City computers.)
Absentee voting begins Friday, Sept. 22. In-person absentee voting will take place at the Early Voting Center, 217 S. Third St., at the corner of Third Avenue South and Third Street South, one block from City Hall. City employees are reminded that State law prohibits displaying campaign signs or wearing T-shirts, buttons or other clothing that displays political messages within 100 feet of a polling location. Although the Early Vote Center is where the in-person absentee voting will take place, voters can still come to City Hall Room 201 (Election & Voting Services headquarters) for assistance and service, therefore City Hall and Courthouse building will be subject to the same statutory restrictions.
If you are considering engaging in political activity this fall, you should watch a short 10-minute video outlining the do’s and don’ts you must follow as a public employee during election season.
To access the training:
- Log in to COMET-HR.
- Click on “Learning and Development.”
- Under “New Learning,” click “Political Ethics” or search for the keywords “political ethics” in the “Search for Learning” box.
- Click “Enroll” then “Submit Enrollment.”
- Click “Launch.”
- Click “Launch” again. (If the video doesn’t begin, make sure your web browser allows pop-ups.)
- Click the “Submit” button at the end of the video to record your participation in the training.
If you have questions about political activity as it relates to your role with the City, contact the City ethics officer at [email protected].
Published Sep 19, 2017