Next steps in Buffalo’s mayoral race

"We may see some challenges going into court"
Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 03, 2021

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown declared a victory Tuesday night, but there are still thousands of write-in ballots, absentee and military ballots that need to be counted.

We checked in with both Erie County Board of election commissioners about what's next in the election of Buffalo mayor.

Mayor Byron Brown declared victory.

“We could not have done this without you,” declare Mayor Bryon Brown.

Mayor Brown ran a historic write-in re-election campaign for mayor against democratic socialist India Walton.

India Walton talked with reporters Tuesday night, but did not concede.

He told supporters Tuesday night he's certain they already pulled out a win.

Butt at both the democratic and republican election commissioners in Erie County say it's time to dig in and get ready to count all the write-in votes.

Jeremy Zellner, democratic commissioner.

“We feel this won't be as difficult as we thought it was,” stated Jeremy Zellner, democratic commissioner.

“We will undertaking the same procedures that we do whether we have five write-ins or 5,000 write-ins,” explained Ralph Mohr, republican commissioner.

Ralph Mohr, republican commissioner.

The Board of Elections will begin counting tens of thousands of write-ins starting November 16.

I asked both election commissioners if they are expecting any challenges for the candidates.

“Once we start our count and the candidates see how it progresses, we may see some challenges going into court, but we don't expect it to hold up our count,” replied Mohr.

“I’m not sure we are going to see legal action, unless something egregious happens or in case something that happens, they don't like when they see the counting take place,” responded Zellner.

Inside Erie County Board of Elections.

Election commissioner say they expect both campaigns as well as members of the public and media to watch over the write-in count.

University at Buffalo political experts weighed in a with post-election review.

They say a good chunk of democrats appeared to have come out to write in for Brown.

Jacob Neiheisel, University at Buffalo.

“You had strong name recognition — historically, good ground game, strong basis of support. You had — frankly a candidate with a very easy name to spell and so you had all of these things moving in his direction,” remarked Jacob Neiheisel.

But they say they also believe India Walton's harsh stance against traditional democrats may have backfired against her and Brown played that in his favor.

Shawn Donahue, University at Buffalo.

“It seemed to be was on a label to define India Walton, but as voters in the City of Buffalo got to know her better, they decided they didn't want her as mayor,” said Shawn Donahue.

The commissioners did not say how long the vote count will take, but say they must certify the election by November 27.

“We got to make sure that every ballot is counted properly,” remarked Zellner. “