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Special General Memorandum 08-02

SGM No. 08-02
OCT 16, 2008
TO: All Employees

FROM: Director

SUBJECT: Voter Registration in Indian Health Service Facilities

The Indian Health Service (IHS) supports nonpartisan voter assistance efforts, including voter registration activities, in IHS facilities, consistent with the restrictions imposed by Federal law.  These activities must be conducted in a manner that will not interfere with the normal operation of the Agency or adversely impact those served by the Agency as determined by the local Chief Executive Officer.  Nonpartisan outside organizations and IHS employees, who are acting in a non-work related capacity, are only permitted to engage in or conduct voter assistance efforts that are truly nonpartisan voter registration efforts as IHS facilities.  (See Federal Management Regulation, Subpart D, § 102-74.460.)

The IHS policy governing the political activities of Federal employees is derived from the Hatch Act, as amended, Title 5, United States Code Sections 7321 through 7326.  When an IHS employee is acting in their official capacity and/or while on duty, they may not engage in activities or conduct that associates the IHS with a specific political campaign, election, party, or candidate.

Like all Federal employees, IHS staff are prohibited from participation in all political activities while on duty, in uniform, in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties, or while using a Federal vehicle.  (See 59 Federal Register (FR) 48769, Sept.23, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 35102, July 5, 1996, Page 50, Section 734.406)

Additional information regarding voter registration in Federal facilities may be obtained from the Office of Special Council Website at  Any questions concerning this memorandum may be directed to the Director, Program Integrity and Ethics Staff, at (301) 443-4137.

/Robert G. McSwain/
Robert G. McSwain