Chapter Two:  Personnel
Procedure Title: Political Activity by State Employees
Based On: Board Policy 3
Procedure Number: 2.22
Date Adopted/Revised: June 6, 2001; November 21, 2006; May 15, 2007; July 20, 2016

Governor’s Policy Directive Nine, issued in January 1986, governs political activity by state employees.
  1. Summary Statements

    1. State employees can, should and are encouraged to participate in the election process so long as assistance to candidates is rendered on the employee’s own time and State property is not involved.

    2. Employees are not to endorse candidates, including the Governor, in their official capacity as State employees.

    3. A person’s status as an employee of the state is public knowledge. Public endorsement of a candidate can easily be interpreted as endorsements of an official capacity.

  2. Legal Provisions

    1. State employees are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity during the hours they are performing work for and being paid by an agency of State government.

    2. Political banners, posters or literature should never be allowed to be displayed on or in any State Office. Political bumper stickers or decals should never be displayed on or in State cars.

    3. State vehicles must not be used during or after working hours to promote or assist the candidacy of any person in any way.

    4. State employees may not display political advertising on personal vehicles when using these vehicles in the performance of official duties for which they will be reimbursed by the state.

    5. No State official (whether elected or appointed) will assess employees for any political purpose or use threats or coercion to require or persuade an employee to contribute to a particular candidate or cause.

    6. Requests for leaves of absence to work in campaigns should be submitted to the employee’s supervisor. The supervisor should, based on department work duties and any other pertinent issues, determine if leave without pay is practical and forward the recommendation to the area Vice President.

    7. In addition to these prohibitions established by Arkansas law and by administrative policy, there are other specific limitations which apply to employees whose salaries are either partially or totally paid form federal funds. These rules are established by the Federal Hatch Act.

    8. For specific questions about Arkansas Election Law, consult the Arkansas Political Practices Act or contact the Secretary of State’s Election Division. Questions regarding the Federal Hatch Act as it relates to federally funded State employees may be answered by the Office of Special counsel in Washington, D.C.