Appellants, who were state employees charged by the Oklahoma State Personnel Board with actively engaging in partisan political activities (including the solicitation of money) among their coworkers for the benefit of their superior, in alleged violation of § 818 of the state merit system Act, brought this suit challenging the Act's validity on the grounds that two of its paragraphs are invalid because of overbreadth and vagueness. One paragraph provided that no classified service employee "shall directly or indirectly, solicit, receive, or in any manner be concerned in soliciting or receiving any assessment . . . or contribution for any political organization, candidacy or other political purpose." The other provided that no such employee shall belong to "any national, state or local committee of a political party" or be an officer or member of a committee or a partisan political club, or a candidate for any paid public office, or take part in the management or affairs of any political party or campaign "except to exercise his right as a citizen privately to express his opinion and . . . vote."

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