Election Recap: What’s at Stake for Feds in the 2016 Presidential Election

Ross D. Franklin, Gerald Herbert / AP

After an unusually bitter and divisive campaign season, Election Day is finally less than 24 hours away. The Office of Personnel Management has reminded federal employees that they may be eligible for time off to vote. Agencies should allow excused absences so that employees can “report for work three hours after the polls open or leave from work three hours before the polls close, whichever requires the lesser amount of time off,” acting OPM Director Beth Cobert wrote in a memo to human resources officials.  

In case this sounds confusing, OPM provided a concrete example:

If an employee is scheduled to work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the employee’s polling place is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., the employee should not be granted excused absence for voting, since the employee would still have at least 3 hours after the end of his or her workday to vote.  However, if an employee is scheduled to work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the employee’s polling place is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the employee may be granted ½ hour of excused absence from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., if requested. 

There are, of course, more details in the memo for employees who have non-traditional work arrangements.

The election has grabbed the attention of many Americans, but for federal employees, it has special meaning because the next president will also be their next boss. Over the course of the campaign, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have given many hints as to how they would manage the bureaucracy.

Government Executive has been following policy proposals that would affect the federal workforce and civil servants’ views of the candidates since early in the campaign. Below are some of our bigger election stories, including profiles of Clinton and Trump, and a quiz to see how closely you have been following relevant developments.

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