Election Laws


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Section 17-17-5

Improper use of state property, time, etc., for political activities

(a) No person in the employment of the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency, whether classified or unclassified, shall use any state, county, city, local school board, or other governmental agency funds, property, or time, for any political activities.

(b)(1) No person in the employment of the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency may arrange by salary deduction or otherwise for any payments to a political action committee or arrange by salary deduction or otherwise for any payments for the dues of any person so employed to a membership organization which uses any portion of the dues for political activity. For purposes of this subsection only, political activity shall be limited to all of the following:

a. Making contributions to or contracting with any entity which engages in any form of political communication, including communications which mention the name of a political candidate.

b. Engaging in or paying for public opinion polling.

c. Engaging in or paying for any form of political communication, including communications which mention the name of a political candidate.

d. Engaging in or paying for any type of political advertising in any medium.

e. Phone calling for any political purpose.

f. Distributing political literature of any type.

g. Providing any type of in-kind help or support to or for a political candidate.

(2) Any organization that requests the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency to arrange by salary deduction or otherwise for the collection of membership dues from persons employed by the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency shall certify to the appropriate governmental entity that none of the membership dues will be used for political activity. Thereafter, at the conclusion of each calendar year, each organization that has arranged for the collection of its membership dues from persons employed by the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency shall provide the appropriate governmental entity a detailed breakdown of the expenditure of the membership dues of persons employed by the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, or any other governmental agency and collected by the governmental entity. Any organization that fails to provide the required certifications, that reports any expenditures for political activity, or that files false information about political activity in any of its reports shall be permanently barred from arranging for the collection of its membership dues by any governmental entity. The Examiners of Public Accounts shall annually review a sample of at least 10 percent of the certifications filed with each governmental entity and report its findings to the appropriate governmental entity.

(c) Any person who is in the employment of the State of Alabama, a county, a city, a local school board, the State Board of Education or any other governmental agency, shall be on approved leave to engage in political action or the person shall be on personal time before or after work and on holidays. It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee to solicit any type of political campaign contributions from other employees who work for the officer or employee in a subordinate capacity. It shall also be unlawful for any officer or employee to coerce or attempt to coerce any subordinate employee to work in any capacity in any political campaign or cause. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of the crime of trading in public office and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined or sentenced, or both, as provided by Section 13A-10-63.

(Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §86; Act 2010-761, 1st Sp. Sess., p. 12, §1.)
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