Reminder: Policies on time off to vote, use of IU resources for political activities

All Indiana University faculty and staff are encouraged to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. But be aware of university policies regarding political activity using IU resources and paid time off to vote.

Paid time off for voting

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Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Voting polls in each precinct across the state are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day. Staff employees whose work schedules prevent them from voting between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. may be allowed time off with pay to vote, up to a maximum of two hours. Examples:

  • A staff employee with a work schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. has between 6 and 8 a.m. to vote before reporting for work. Therefore, this staff employee would not receive any time off with pay to vote.
  • A staff employee with a work schedule of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. has only 1.5 hours to vote either before or after work. Therefore, this staff employee would receive, if needed, one half hour of time off with pay to vote.

This time off does not have to be made up or charged to vacation time or any other previously earned time off for staff employees.

For additional information or questions, contact Human Resources.

Policy on political activity

IU employees are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with the IU policy that governs the use of university resources with respect to political activities.

"Anecdotally, I would say that the most common mistake that faculty and staff employees inadvertently make is using their IU email or social media accounts to promote a candidate or to invite others to fundraising or other campaign events," said Kip Drew, the university's chief policy officer.

As a state-supported public university with a tax-exempt status under sections 115 and 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, IU may not participate or intervene in any political campaign and must prevent its resources from being used in any way that could appear to support a political campaign.

The university has developed guidelines for political campaign invitations, events and activities to clarify the types of activities that are permitted and those that are restricted. The guidelines help ensure that IU's tax-exempt status is protected and that the university remains in compliance with its legal obligations.

"It is important to note that these guidelines are in no way intended to preclude, limit or discourage political activity or advocacy that you might wish to undertake as an individual. You have every right to do so as a citizen, and IU fully supports that right," said Mike Sample, the university's vice president for government relations. "These guidelines are only meant to ensure that private political activity undertaken by members of the IU community does not make use of public university resources in support of that activity."

Contact Brad Boswell at bsboswel@iu.edu with questions about the guidelines.