B-113150, FEBRUARY 9, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 361

B-113150: Feb 9, 1953

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EXCEPT WHERE VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED. WHO ABSENTS HIMSELF FROM WORK FOR ONE DAY IN ORDER TO VOTE IN A STATE WHERE VOTING BY MEANS OF ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WAS ABSENT FOR VOTING PURPOSES. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED. IT IS REPORTED THAT MRS. NIELSEN WAS ABSENT ON NOVEMBER 4. THAT VOTING BY MEANS OF ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED IN THAT STATE FOR WHICH REASON SHE APPARENTLY WAS ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE. YOU REFER TO TWO DIRECTIVES WHICH ARE PERTINENT TO THIS MATTER. THE TWO DIRECTIVES ARE. AS FOLLOWS: (1) WHERE THE ABSENCE WILL NOT SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH PRODUCTION.

B-113150, FEBRUARY 9, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 361

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - EXCUSING FROM WORK - VOTING THE DIRECTIVE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT APPEARING IN THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL WHICH AUTHORIZES AGENCIES TO PERMIT EMPLOYEES WHO DESIRE TO VOTE IN STATES WHERE THEY MAINTAIN VOTING RESIDENCES TO BE EXCUSED FOR THAT PURPOSE WITHOUT CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE, EXCEPT WHERE VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED, MAY NOT BE EXTENDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE EXCUSING OF AN EMPLOYEE, WITHOUT CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE, WHO ABSENTS HIMSELF FROM WORK FOR ONE DAY IN ORDER TO VOTE IN A STATE WHERE VOTING BY MEANS OF ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO T. W. CHAPPELL, OFFICE OF PRICE STABILIZATION, FEBRUARY 9, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1952, FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR, BUDGET AND FINANCE DIVISION, DATED DECEMBER 12, 1952, FILE 2933/JLM, TRANSMITTING PAY ROLL VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF MRS. DORIS A. NIELSEN, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF PRICE STABILIZATION, COVERING PAYMENT FOR ONE DAY BY REASON OF BEING CHARGED ANNUAL LEAVE FOR NOVEMBER 4, 1952, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WAS ABSENT FOR VOTING PURPOSES. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

IT IS REPORTED THAT MRS. NIELSEN WAS ABSENT ON NOVEMBER 4, 1952, FOR PURPOSES OF VOTING IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, BUT THAT VOTING BY MEANS OF ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED IN THAT STATE FOR WHICH REASON SHE APPARENTLY WAS ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE.

YOU REFER TO TWO DIRECTIVES WHICH ARE PERTINENT TO THIS MATTER, THE FIRST BEING CONTAINED IN THE OFFICE OF PRICE STABILIZATION MANUAL AND THE SECOND IN A LETTER DATED JULY 24, 1948, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, ADDRESSED TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES APPEARING IN CHAPTER L1-1 OF THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL. THE TWO DIRECTIVES ARE, RESPECTIVELY, AS FOLLOWS:

(1) WHERE THE ABSENCE WILL NOT SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH PRODUCTION, EMPLOYEES WILL BE EXCUSED UPON THEIR REQUEST, WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF VOTING AT COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY MAINTAIN VOTING RESIDENCE. WHERE REGISTRATION IN PERSON IS REQUIRED, EMPLOYEES MAY SIMILARLY BE EXCUSED. A REASONABLE TIME WILL BE ALLOWED FOR THESE PURPOSES, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL IT EXCEED ONE WORKING DAY. WHERE THE DISTANCE INVOLVED REQUIRES MORE THAN ONE DAY, THE ADDITIONAL TIME WILL BE CHARGED TO ANNUAL LEAVE, IF AVAILABLE, OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY.

(2) IN SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE WITHOUT INTERFERING SERIOUSLY WITH PRODUCTION, EMPLOYEES WHO DESIRE TO VOTE AT COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY MAINTAIN VOTING RESIDENCE, EXCEPT WHERE VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IS PERMITTED, WILL BE EXCUSED FOR THAT PURPOSE WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE FOR A REASONABLE TIME ON ALL ELECTION DAYS. FURTHER, EMPLOYEES WHO WILL BE VOTING IN JURISDICTIONS WHICH REQUIRE REGISTRATION IN PERSON WILL BE EXCUSED FOR THAT PURPOSE WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE FOR A REASONABLE TIME DURING THE REGISTRATION PERIODS SPECIFIED BY THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THEY WILL VOTE. SUCH AUTHORIZED ABSENCE SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE TIME ACTUALLY REQUIRED TO VOTE OR REGISTER, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND IN NO EVENT SHOULD IT EXCEED ONE WORKING DAY FOR EACH ELECTION OR REGISTRATION PERIOD. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT IS SEEN THAT THE DIRECTIVE OF THE OFFICE OF PRICE STABILIZATION MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT, SUCH AS THE DIRECTIVE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE OFFICE OF PRICE STABILIZATION INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE EXCUSING OF EMPLOYEES TO VOTE IN PERSON WHEN THEY COULD DO SO BY ABSENTEE BALLOT. ANY EVENT, SINCE THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT LAID DOWN THE POLICY FOR EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER INDIVIDUAL AGENCIES HAVE AUTHORITY TO EXTEND THE COVERAGE THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION IN CHARGING MRS. NIELSEN ANNUAL LEAVE FOR NOVEMBER 4, 1952, APPEARS CORRECT AND SHE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY FURTHER PAYMENT IN RESPECT THEREOF. THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.