The display in Ingham County features wooden fold-out sign that says, “Place Mail In Ballots Here,” and has an arrow that points directly at a toilet. Photos of the setup were captured by Lansing State Journal, the local news outlet that caught wind that Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum filed a police report against the unidentified resident’s yard decor.
County police did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, Byrum was able to confirm that she indeed put in a report.
“As Ingham County’s Clerk, I take election security very seriously. Thanks to the passage of Proposal 3 in 2018, Michigan’s voters have the right to vote absentee without having to give a reason,” she wrote to Fox News via email. “I understand that there are some individuals who are opposed to casting their ballot this way, and it is their right to vote in person on Election Day.”
Byrum clarified that she reported the yard display to ensure first-time absentee voters won’t be confused about how they need to return their ballots and minimize the chance of any potential election meddling.
“I do not wish for opponents of absentee voting to request absent voter ballots and place them in this display as a form of protest, as doing so would make the homeowner a felon, under Michigan law,” she wrote. “I fully respect the homeowner’s 1st Amendment right to express their opinions even if I disagree with them, but soliciting others to deposit ballots is where this crosses from a Free Speech issue to an election law matter.”
President Donald Trump has been encouraging absentee ballots as of late in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 6.8 million Americans, according to data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.
Previously, Trump was adamant that absentee ballots wouldn’t be necessary to cast votes in the upcoming presidential election.