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Appellate court issues stay on previous ruling that ordered Byron Brown's name appear on ballot

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 19:37:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An appellate court issued a stay on a previous ruling that ordered Byron Brown's name appear on the November ballot for the race for Mayor of Buffalo, according to court documents.

A lawsuit was filed in State Supreme Court on August 30 on behalf of the Brown campaign, arguing the legislature’s change in primary day and day of the deadline to file a petition to appear on the November ballot was unconstitutional and did not give voters enough time to decide.

In that case the court ruled Brown's name appear on the ballot in November as an independent candidate.

ORDERED that the relief requested by Petitioner is GRANTED in all respects,, finding New York State Election Law Section 6-158(9) is unconstitutional in that the deadline to file Independent Nominating Petitions is excessively early. It was further determined additional defenses raised by Respondents; i.e. that laches bars this proceeding, Petitioner failed to name all necessary parties and Petitioner failed to comply with the statutory requirements of the Election Law by not listing a committee to fill vacancies, are denied.

ORDERED that Petitioner-Candidate BYRON W. BROWN’S name shall appear on all ballots used for the General Election of November 2, 2021 as a candidate for the Buffalo Party for the public office for Mayor, City of Buffalo, County of Erie, State of New York.

The decision was appealed and the Supreme Court of the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department heard the appeal and issued a stay Wednesday, pending further arguments.

India Walton, the Democratic nominee for mayor, issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

This is clearly a wise decision. If everyday Buffalonians are late on rent, parking fees, or school assignments, they face consequences. There is no reason the rules should not apply to my GOP-backed opponent as well.
- India Walton

The Brown campaign issued this statement:

"We remain confident that the rulings of two judges will be upheld."

There was also a lawsuit filed in Federal Court on behalf of three Buffalo residents who support Byron Brown for Mayor. The lawsuit “Alleges that New York’s early deadline, as applied to the would-be candidate violates their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

In that case the court also ruled Brown's name appear on the ballot in November as an independent candidate.

The India Walton Campaign responded to that decision, saying in part that it would appeal the decision. The Erie County Board of Elections also voted Tuesday to appeal the Federal Court decision. There has been no word on a decision on the appeal in that case.