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5 U.S. Code § 1502 - Influencing elections; taking part in political campaigns; prohibitions; exceptions

(a) A State or local officer or employee may not—
use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office;
directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, or advise a State or local officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; or
if the salary of the employee is paid completely, directly or indirectly, by loans or grants made by the United States or a Federal agency, be a candidate for elective office.
A State or local officer or employee retains the right to vote as he chooses and to express his opinions on political subjects and candidates.
(c) Subsection (a)(3) of this section does not apply to—
the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of a State or an individual authorized by law to act as Governor;
the mayor of a city;
a duly elected head of an executive department of a State, municipality, or the District of Columbia who is not classified under a State, municipal, or the District of Columbia merit or civil-service system; or
an individual holding elective office.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 404; Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, § 401(a), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1290; Pub. L. 112–230, §§ 2, 3(c), Dec. 28, 2012, 126 Stat. 1616.)

Historical and Revision Notes


U.S. Code

Revised Statutes and

Statutes at Large

5 U.S.C. 118k(a) (less 1st 41 words).

July 19, 1940, ch. 640, § 4 “Sec. 12(a) (less 1st 41 words)”, 54 Stat. 767.

In subsection (a), the term “State or local officer or employee”, defined in section 1501, is substituted for the first 41 words of former section 118k(a). The words “any part of his salary or compensation” are omitted as included in “anything of value”.

Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined in the preface to the report.

Editorial Notes

2012—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 112–230, § 2, amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: “be a candidate for elective office.”

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 112–230, § 3(c), which directed the substitution of “, municipality, or the District of Columbia’ ” for “ ‘or municipality” and “, municipal, or the District of Columbia’ ” for “ ‘or municipal”, was executed by substituting “, municipality, or the District of Columbia” for “or municipality” and “, municipal, or the District of Columbia” for “or municipal”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1974—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 93–443 substituted “be a candidate for elective office” for “take an active part in political management or in political campaigns”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–230 effective 30 days after Dec. 28, 2012, see section 5(a) of Pub. L. 112–230, set out as a note under section 1501 of this title.

Effective Date of 1974 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–443 effective Jan. 1, 1975, see section 410(a) of Pub. L. 93–443, set out as a note under section 30101 of Title 52, Voting and Elections.