Elections. We know them, we live them, we love them. But over the last few years many questions surrounding elections have surfaced. What goes into election security? How do we know the vote we cast is the vote received? What really happens on election day? Election night? When does an election end?
Former state representative Barb Byrum joins the Michigan Council for the Social Studies President and President Elect for a conversation to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of elections.
About the Presenter
Barb Byrum is currently serving in her third term as Ingham County Clerk, acting as the county’s chief elections official. As Clerk of one of the most populous counties in the State of Michigan, Byrum has successfully conducted 32 elections, 7 union elections, and was one of only a handful of counties to complete the 2016 Presidential Recount, the 2022 partial statewide Recount of Proposal 3, and several other local recounts.
Since 2016, Byrum has been credentialed as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator by Election Center, the only national program of continuing professional education that specializes in elections administration and voter registration. In 2017, she served on Election Center’s Security Task Force. Byrum lent her expertise to Michigan’s Election Security Commission, the Secretary of State’s team of advisors tasked with strengthening and better securing elections in the state. She is also a member of Election Center’s Ethics Project Focus Group.
Byrum has been a consistent advocate for the voting rights of qualified, registered voters with a focus on historically disenfranchised voters. She is a member of the Overseas Voting Initiative, a collaboration between the Council of State Governments and the US Department of Defense to improve the process of voting by members of the military and civilians living abroad.
Byrum has been an active member of the community throughout her life, primarily promoting voter registration, including voter registration drives in partnership with the League of Women Voters, the Ingham County Jail, and groups affiliated with Michigan State University. She has also registered voters at local events, including Black Lives Matter rallies helping to ensure that rally attendees can vote their issues at the ballot box. Byrum believes that voting is the ultimate action of protest.
Byrum previously served three terms as the Michigan State Representative, serving House District 67. During her time in the Legislature, Byrum served as the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Redistricting and Elections.
Byrum graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness Management and holds a law degree from MSU College of Law.