Updated August 25, 2009    
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Hatch Act and Federal Election Law
What Carriers Can Do in Politics and Legislation
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Hatch Act
Prior to 1993, as an active letter carrier, you and your brothers and sisters were barred from taking any significant volunteer role for any of these campaigns. The primary sentiment behind the law was to protect Federal employees from being strong-armed and intimidated into helping their bosses run for reelection. But as times and campaigns changed, many believed that Federal employees were being wrongfully left out of the political process.

So in 1993 Congress amended the Hatch Act to allow Federal employees to take an active part in political campaigns for Federal offices. While there are still some restrictions on what Federal employees (including you and your fellow active carriers) can do, there is indeed greater latitude given to your participation. Thanks to changes in the Hatch Act, active Letter Carriers and other Federal employees have been able to participate in campaigns for President, United States Senate, and House of Representatives.

Remember: Retirees, spouses, and family members are not bound by the Hatch ACT!

Hatch Act DOs and DON'Ts
Below are the primary guidelines that active letter carriers need to follow when working or volunteering on a political campaign for federal office. Remember, though, that just because the Hatch Act doesn't say "NO," that doesn't mean it's legal! Check the section on Federal Election Campaign Act for more information.



    DOs - Active Letter Carriers May
  • Be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections
  • Register and vote as they choose
  • Assist in Voter Registration Drives
  • Express opinions about candidates and issues
  • Attend fundraisers and contribute money to political organizations and campaigns
  • Volunteer on a campaign
  • Recruit volunteers for a political campaign
  • Participate in activities such as phone banking and precinct walking
  • Display bumper stickers, lawn signs, and other campaign paraphernalia
  • Raise money for COLCPE from other Letter Carriers
  • Run for nonpartisan offices (that is, parties are not listed on the ballot)
  • Volunteer, run for, and hold an office in a local or state political party
    DON'Ts - Active Letter Carriers May Not
  • Raise money for a partisan political campaign
  • Run for political office (even if you report "No Party Affiliation")
  • Allow your name to be used in any fundraising appeal on behalf of a partisan political campaign
  • Participate in a phone bank that is engaged in fundraising for a partisan campaign
  • Raise money for COLCPE from non-Letter Carriers
  • Bottom Line: Be off the clock, out of the uniform (and government vehicles), and away from the work place
Common Hatch Act Questions - page 3

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