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News Release

Monday, April 22, 2013

Voting Rights Program News

April 2013

Grateful for You

Dear Observers,

You know how it is when you meet new people at a barbeque or other social gathering—the question “What do you do for a living?” is a classic.  For over six years, I’ve had the distinct honor of answering it by saying that I manage OPM’s Voting Rights Program and then giving a little history of the Program.  I have yet to meet anyone who has not been interested.  After all, voting is a dearly held right of American citizens, and OPM’s role in it was forged at such a hinge in American history—the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Being part of the rich story of voting rights makes one’s heart beat just a little faster.  Perhaps you too have experienced the same pride in telling others of your involvement as a Federal observer.

For me, though, being the Program’s manager has been a joy for more than just the history behind it.  My greatest honor has been working with such a talented and able group of people who care deeply about what they do.  I marvel at the diversity of our observer cadre, spread out from Anchorage, Alaska, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with about half of our observers speaking at least one of ten minority languages.  I’ve been amazed at both the ongoing contribution of some of our long-time observers (some who have been with the Program since before I was born!) and the new energy and skills of our newest observers.  The three regional coordinators—Paul, Renee, and Robbie—have managed difficult elections and cultivated a superb corps of captains and co-captains.  And Sherry, our program assistant, has worked diligently behind the scenes to keep us all documented, paid, reimbursed, and on the right track.

Starting April 21, I will be taking on a new role at OPM as the Director of the Office of Executive Secretariat & Ombudsman.  That office works with all parts of the Agency, so I hope to remain engaged with the VR Program at least indirectly.  As always, if you need assistance, please reach out to your regional coordinator.

In the meantime, OPM is merging into one position the responsibilities of the VR Program Manager and those of the resources management supervisor for VR’s parent division.  The position is currently being advertised on USAJOBS at (open to all) and (open to those under merit promotion provisions).

 I have treasured my time with you and am profoundly grateful for your ongoing commitment to OPM’s Voting Rights Program.

Grace and peace,

Chris Hammond
Voting Rights Program Manager

The Importance of LATTE and What It Can Do For You

LATTE, the VR Program’s new website, is rapidly becoming a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Program.  Currently, you can use LATTE to . . . 

  • Update your contact and banking information.
  • View your labor worksheet from an election.
  • Submit your travel voucher after an election.
  • Find a link to Employee Express, where you can access your pay statements and Form W-2.
  • Read news posted in quarterly VR Updates.

In the coming months, you will be using LATTE to . . . 

  • Notify us of your availability to serve at upcoming elections.
  • Access required pre-election training online (instead of going through a separate site).
  • Download all election documents (e.g., Master Travel Schedule, Fact Sheet and Rental Car letter).

So, as you see, access to LATTE will become increasingly important to all observers.  Please remember your password, and be sure to check out the website at least quarterly.  

LATTE and Employee Express—What’s the Diff?

As our observers needed Forms W-2 to file their 2012 taxes recently, we discovered that some of you were unsure about the difference between LATTE and Employee Express.  

LATTE is the interactive website created exclusively for Voting Rights Program participants.   As stated in the article above, it is fast becoming the central hub for VR observers to receive news and information. 

Employee Express, on the other hand, is a website that allows employees in several Federal agencies to access their payroll information.  In other words, it’s not just for Voting Rights employees. 

Each site has its own login and password.   While the VR Program Assistant can assist you with login/password issues for LATTE, she does not have access to your login/password information for Employee Express.  

If you have not previously used Employee Express or have forgotten your password, call the Employee Express Helpdesk at 478-757-3030 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  (If you work full-time for a Federal agency that does not use Employee Express, be sure to indicate your agency as OPM when dealing with Employee Express.)  The Helpdesk will verify your home address and will mail a new password to you within 7 to 21 days.  HelpDesk agents will not give out passwords over the phone or send them via email. 

Once you have been set up in LATTE and Employee Express, we strongly recommend that you make note of the separate logins and passwords for future use.

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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