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Earlier questions about the use of federal facilities (for example< the White House) did not generate answers that were specific to use of government property but were either closed without an answer or devolved into a discussion of the permissible actions of government employees.

So to sharpen the question: Can a federal employee, exclusive of the President and Vice President, use government property (telephones, computers, computer networks, printers, offices, etc) for political campaign activities?

If the Hatch Act does not apply to the use of government property for political campaign activities, is there some other act that does?

  • If the telephones, computers, computer networks were used as paperweights that's one thing, if they were used for communication, and used government-paid electronic access means, that's somewhat different and might not technically be completely covered uner "use of property". Do you want government-paid services and communications platforms included in your question as well? – uhoh Oct 12 at 3:30
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    Without thinking about it too deeply, yes I would suppose so. Communications platforms is (to me a bit ambigious), perhaps I'd use the example of a government leased vehicle.Can that vehicle be used to deliver campaign brochures or plant lawn signs? – BobE Oct 12 at 3:45
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It honestly doesn't have to. I've never used a government system that doesn't explicitly state you absolutely can not and can be punished for that activity. You are also forbidden from performing such activity during duty hours even if using your own equipment.

While the verbiage in the OSC is a little open and perhaps dated for the tech world here it is:

Engage in political activity – i.e., activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group – while the employee is on duty, in any federal room or building, while wearing a uniform or official insignia, or using any federally owned or leased vehicle. For example, while at work employees may not:

  • Distribute campaign materials or items
  • Display campaign materials or items
  • Perform campaign related chores
  • ​Wear or display partisan political buttons, t-shirts, signs, or other items
  • Make political contributions to a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group
  • Post a comment to a blog or a social media site that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group
  • ​Use any email account or social media to distribute, send, or forward content that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group

https://osc.gov/Services/Pages/HatchAct-Federal.aspx#tabGroup13

Notice how many things are not tied to the device. As I've said I've worked in the government and it's usually a termination offense to perform personal activity on their technology much less political activity. While direct Hatch act violations could land you in prison for a long time don't play the game because at the very least you could lose your job.

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