“Needs To Be Quashed Immediately”: Michigan Clerk Files Criminal Complaint Against Resident Who Mocks Mail-In Voting


Byrum insisted that “It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot. Elections in this country are to be taken seriously and there are many people who are voting by mail for the first time this election.”

In so saying, Byrum succeeded in looking even more crazed than the residents with a toilet on their lawn.

The relevant provision appears to be:

(f) A person other than an absent voter; a person whose job it is to handle mail before, during, or after being transported by a public postal service, express mail service, parcel post service, or common carrier, but only during the normal course of his or her employment; a clerk or assistant of the clerk; a member of the immediate family of the absent voter including father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild; or a person residing in the absent voter’s household shall not do any of the following:
  (i) Possess an absent voter ballot mailed or delivered to another person, regardless of whether the ballot has been voted.
  (ii) Return, solicit to return, or agree to return an absent voter ballot to the clerk of a city, township, village, or school district.

This of course is a toilet and a joke.  If a voter actually thought he or she was voting by lawn commode, would we really want that person participating in an election?

If the resident is joking, it is not solicitation to return.  Moreover, Byrum is using this ridiculous interpretation to effectively punish a voter for engaging in political speech.  The picture shows that next to the toilet is a sign reading “Recall Whitmer.” This is clearly political speech protesting the massive increase in mail-in voting that has many citizens (and President Donald Trump) complaining over possible fraud.   So Byrum responds with a criminal referral that seems retaliatory and harassing in character.

Byrum also comes across as a petty tyrant in proclaiming “This kind of behavior needs to be quashed immediately. They are making a mockery of our elections. I’m not going to stand idly by and watch it happen.” That comment seems so over-the-top that I double checked sources to confirm that she said it.

Byrum appears to view her office as empowering her to “quash . . . mockery” like some humor police. The mockery in this story is using a felony crime to threaten political critics.

This is why Einstein said “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”


71 thoughts on ““Needs To Be Quashed Immediately”: Michigan Clerk Files Criminal Complaint Against Resident Who Mocks Mail-In Voting”

  1. Something about this post just didn’t smell right. I mean why would a clerk start something like that not knowing if everything was going to come out alright and any paperwork would all get done. You have to anticipate what they’d do and then she’d have expect them to anticipate what she’d do. That’s two do’s at least. Seems like there’d be a lot of windage in guessing the outcome.

    1. Because once an organization is infiltrated by liberal women (they run HR departments), then you end up with completely incompetent people in it, but they all get along. Conformity over competence.

  2. Enjoyed the article, but thought I’d mention that Einstein probably never said that. The only reason I ever doubted the quote myself was several years ago, the first time I saw it used online. I have read and reread a collection of his letters and notes from Einstein called “Ideas and Opinions” and developed something of a feel for his manner of speaking and using the word stupid just didn’t feel right to me coming from him. Also if it were some sort of “sage” quote from Einstein then he’d have said it in his later years, and not when he was just starting out. Originally he believed in a static universe that was spatially infinite but by the time he’d reached sage status as it were he’d gravitated (pun not intended) to an expanding model of the universe, so the use of the word seems ill timed at best. I researched the quote back thenconvinced it was not an actual quote and what I found was there isn’t any real evidence other than an anecdotal reference made by Frederick S. Perl the guy who invented Gestalt, (scream therapy we used to call it) back in 1969, long after Einstein’s death in his gestalt therapy verbatim. He had referenced the quote in earlier works attributing it to “the great astronomer” but he didn’t attribute the quote to Einstein by name until 14 years after his death and its not considered a valid quote. Although that won’t keep it off brainyquote unfortunately, so its on there with a picture of him but its unlikely he actually ever spoke the words.

  3. It would have gone from a misdemeanor to a felony if they would have placed the toilet on an industrial sized paper shredder.

  4. I lived in Michigan for 6 years. The entire state is a toilet. The State of Michigan Education Association, a branch of the National Education Association, posted several billboards in 2007-2009 showing a teacher instructing a young student, the student changing into a welder, the billboard’s caption ‘MEA-Preparing Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow’. Every child’s dream!

    Barb Byrum owned a hardware store in Charlotte, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University College of Law. Her mother, Dianne Byrum, owns several hardware stores throughout central Michigan, served as an Ingham County Commissioner for 8 years, then State Representative, now State Senator. Clearly, daughter Barb never worked a job her mother didn’t buy or otherwise procure for her.

  5. Jonathan: It may be amusing to mock Barb Byrum for denouncing the Michigan resident who placed a toilet on his front lawn with a sign that read: “Place mail in ballots here” but the real threat to “political speech”–voting by mail and in person–is not coming from local officials who want to abolish toilets from front yards but is occurring elsewhere and no doubt part of Trump’s game plan to suppress the vote. Trump continues to falsely claim mail-in voting results in “massive voter fraud” –except, ironically, in Florida where he and Melania often vote absentee. He is also attacking voting in person, especially in states with early voting, because he fears those voters will vote for Biden. So Trump is calling on his supporters to act as “poll watchers”. On cue a number of his supporters showed up on Saturday at a polling station in Fairfax, Virginia to intimidate early voters. Salon has an iconic photo of some of the intimidators–featuring a bare chested white guy with tattoos, holding a metal helmet, wearing a US flag and shouting in defiance against voters waiting in line. No face masks for these Trump supporters. Now to be fair the Trump supporters did not actually block the polling station but many voters felt intimidated and the protest did disrupt the voting process. Attempts at voter intimidation are illegal in Virginia and other states. But expect Trump and his supporters to do more of this in the coming weeks.

    Now the right to “political speech” includes the right of yahoos to show up at a Virginia polling station and peacefully protest. But the right to vote, whether by mail or in person, is a precious and fundamental right in our democracy. But Trump is so afraid of the outcome of this election that he and his supporters are willing do almost anything to prevent a free and fair election. This includes gutting the Postal Service, purging voting lists, challenging vote-by-mail laws in many states and now showing up at polling stations to intimidate voters. Like other authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and other places, Trump is willing to undermine an election to retain power. That’s the real threat you choose to ignore.

    1. So…as you describe it….if I show up at a Polling Station wearing my MAGA hat, carrying a simple “Trump” sign, and obey all of the Election Rules for Polling stations….you think I am intimidating Biden Voters….really?

      Have you ever voted in person….and noticed all the Candidates signs and supporters handing out Campaign Material?

      That goes on all the time…..and if you violate the Rules….the Polling Station Election Judge calls the Police and off to Jail you go.

      Me thinks you doth protest far too much!

  6. another Democratic party representative clearly against free speech, intolerant of satire, and attempting to unlawfully intimidate voters.

  7. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

    – Albert Einstein


    Human stupidity is absolute and it is absolutely stupid to proffer that vote-by-mail is legal.

    The law is:

    “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.”

    “Election Day is the day (singular) set by law for the general elections of federal public officials,” according to Wikipedia.

    Ballots may not be distributed or executed on any but Election Day which is “…Tuesday the next after the first Monday in the month of November.”

    Tuesday is a day; ONE DAY – not days, plural – nothing more; nothing less – the law is clear.

    A voter must present, be identified, be certified and execute his ballot at a polling place on election day. Period.

    The U.S. Mail requires more than one day to send and return.

    The one and only day on which the presidential election may occur is “…the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.”

    “…courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. Now you know the original intent of the American Founders.

      Now you know why the American Founders established a restricted-vote republic, distinctly not a one man, one vote democrazy.

      Now you know why the American Founders generally restricted the vote to: Male, European, 21, 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

      Now you know why the American Founders deliberately designed a turnout of 11.6% in the 1788 election of George Washington as President.

      To maintain control of the essential process of self-governance – rational elections.

      Vote-by-mail is the final corruption and destruction of the election process in the American republic.

      America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

      President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

      President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

  8. “The problem is not that Barb Byrum is entirely humorless.” Every time I am ready to give up on you, Professor Turley, you come through with a one-liner like this. Like every Taurus.

  9. Not going to help much when the vote goes 75 to 25 with 50 coming from independent unaffiliated.

  10. Tells us a lot along with the influx of a thousand a day to Florida out of the NYNJ area. My friend back there in North Florida commented the registrations are going well but do not favor the socialists. Those folks escapinig from the NE USA have obviously got their priorities in order.

    1. Michael, it is the Gold Coast of Fl. that is so highly democrat and populous. They migrated from democrat strongholds in NY. They started in Miami and moved upward through PBC. I would worry about cheating especially in Broward though one would probably have to include Miami – Dade. Palm Beach is the one with the hanging chad issue.

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