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Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


Michael W. Hager
Acting Director

Excused Absence for Voting

We have been receiving inquiries regarding concerns about delays Federal employees
may encounter when voting in this year's national elections.

OPM supports Federal employees in exercising their voting rights, and we encourage you
to use your existing excused absence flexibilities to support Federal employees in voting
in this year's elections. As we mentioned in our September 11 memo on excused absence
for voting, (see,
agencies have discretionary authority to grant excused absence. This includes the ability
to adjust policies to circumstances as they unfold. The model we have used for voting for
many years, in consultation with the Federal Chief Human Capital Officers and Directors
of Human Resources, is that employees should have at least 3 hours either before or after
the end of their workday to vote. If employees do not have a clear, 3-hour block of time,
agencies may grant excused absence to supplement the normal time off before or after the
end of the workday. Usually only 30 minutes to 1 hour of excused absence would be
needed to provide an employee with a 3-hour window of opportunity. Because polling
places are usually open for extended periods of time, excused absence is usually not
needed at all. This historic arrangement allows for a strong balance of keeping the
Federal Government functioning while providing time necessary for employees to
exercise their right to vote.

Please advise your managers and supervisors to seek assistance from your Chief Human
Capital Officer or Director of Human Resources if unusual problems develop. For
additional information, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and/or Human Resources
Directors should contact their assigned U.S. Office of Personnel Management Human
Capital Officer. Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for
assistance. Our Mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a
World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People
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