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Advocates for military and overseas voters rights

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Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum has been appointed to the Overseas Voting Initiative.

The OVI is a collaboration of federal, state and local election officials that ensure the right to vote is protected for military personnel who are serving abroad and other overseas voters.

“The right to vote is crucial to the strength of our democracy,” stated Byrum. “Military and overseas voters should be afforded every opportunity to cast their ballots as those who are stateside. I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate for the interests of Michigan voters as we delve into this important voting rights issue.”

Byrum met with election officials from across the country to work out election issues, which include coordinating challenges for service members face and making sure voting laws are followed overseas.

According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, in the November 2016 Presidential Election, over 670,000 ballots were cast by military and overseas voters nationwide including 16,775 ballots cast by military and overseas voters from Michigan.

“Many are serving abroad to protect this country, and they should have every opportunity to cast their ballot. Distance should not dissuade someone from exercising their right to vote in the community they are serving to protect,” stated Byrum.

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