If courts rule on Buffalo mayoral ballot after they’ve been mailed out, Board of Elections will send a new one

India Walton-Byron Brown mayoral race

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As legal challenges mount in the Buffalo mayoral race, Thursday’s deadline to certify the ballot came and went without a resolution on the line for mayor.

The Erie County Board of Elections certified every other race Thursday and said when it comes time to print military ballots next week, it will base the mayoral line on the most recent court decision.

India Walton defeated incumbent Byron Brown in the June primary election and was set to be the only candidate on the ballot until Brown received a favorable court ruling last week that allowed him to be on the ballot with the newly created Buffalo Party. Walton’s campaign received a stay from a state appellate court Wednesday that put last week’s decision on hold. Appeals are continuing in both state and federal courts.

The general election isn’t until Nov. 2, but printed military ballots must be sent out by next Friday, Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said. About 170 military ballots will be sent to those eligible to vote for Buffalo mayor.

Should a court decision come in after ballots have been sent out, Mohr said the Board of Elections will simply send out new ballots.

“We would go and produce the ballot as to the last court decision,” Mohr said. “If the courts come in after that time and end up with a different result, we would have to amend the ballot, we would have to try to contact the individuals that we sent ballots to already and send them a second ballot with an explanation as to why they’re receiving a second ballot.”

Should Brown get on the ballot, he will be listed on the bottom right corner of the page with his newly created party. Walton will be listed on the top of the right-most column on the Democratic line. (The amount of votes each party received in the most recent race for governor determines their order on this ballot.)

“While we certify the ballot as it stands today, it is subject to amendment based upon and federal or state court actions,” Mohr said. “Yesterday we received an order from the … appellate division which restrained us from certifying the ballot for the race for the City of Buffalo mayor.

“We will certify once courts make a final determination with respect to that race,” Mohr said.

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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