Erie County Board of Elections denies Byron Brown's petition to be on November ballot

Buffalo Mayor Brown
Posted at 4:22 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 18:03:16-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Board of Elections has denied Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's petition to be on the November ballot for Mayor of Buffalo.

The Brown campaign launched the petition following his loss to India Walton in the Democratic primary.

Earlier this year, the New York State Legislature moved up the deadline to appear on the ballot to May 25 due to the primary taking place in June instead of September like previous years. The Brown campaign filed a petition challenging that deadline.

Erie County Board of Elections Republican Election Commissioner Ralph Mohr and Democratic Election Commissioner Jeremy Zellner held a public hearing Friday to consider and rule upon the petition submitted by the campaign.

Attorney from the Brown campaign, Jerry Goldfeder of Manhattan, argued in front of the board that the legislature’s date was set too early — denying the candidate his or her constitutional right and denying voters enough time to decide.

Mohr and Zellner disagreed.

"If anyone could file any set of documents whenever they want to it would create chaos," said Mohr.

The Brown campaign continues to pursue a write-in campaign and is vowing to take the board of election's decision to court. Speaking to the media following the decision Byron Brown said the following:

The board of elections made a determination today that we respectfully disagree with. We will continue to pursue our legal options. We submitted a petition with more than five times the required signatures, over 3,700 residents of the City of Buffalo saying that they want to support my candidacy for mayor. We've also seen thousands of people sign up for the 'Write Down Byron Brown campaign,' so we are confident in the strength of our campaign going into the November 2 general election.
- Byron Brown

Democratic mayoral nominee India Walton released the following statement Friday in response to the board's ruling:

I would like to congratulate the Erie County Board of Elections on meeting its constitutional duty to uphold state law and reject this untimely submission of ballot petitions. It is a shame that Byron Brown saw fit to subject the Board to this frivolous waste of time, rather than obeying the law, and showing voters and legislators the respect they deserve. While Brown and his Republican supporters clearly don’t think the rules apply to them, we are glad that this desperate gambit failed as badly as his primary campaign did. Thanks to the good judgement of the bipartisan Board, the rules will stand. We are confident that, come November, the voters will conclude once again that it is time for a change.
- The India Walton campaign