See it: Byron Brown files lawsuit against Board of Elections in bid to get on ballot

India Walton-Byron Brown mayoral race

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo mayor Byron Brown has filed a lawsuit against the Erie County Board of Elections after his petition to get on ballot with the “Buffalo Party” was ruled invalid last week.

Brown, Buffalo’s four-term mayor, is running a write-in campaign after losing the June primary election to India Walton. His campaign submitted paperwork two weeks ago to try get on the ballot under a different line — filing months after the May 25 deadline.

When the Board of Elections unsurprisingly rejected the petition, Brown’s campaign pledged to appeal. It has now done so, filing an eight-page lawsuit that claims the state’s change of the submission deadline earlier this year was unconstitutional. You can view the full lawsuit below.

“The statute that Respondent Board of Elections relied upon in making its erroneous determination is unconstitutional and should not have precluded the filing of said Nominating Petition and its validation,” Brown’s lawyer, Jerry H. Goldfeder, claims in the filing. “It is unconstitutional based upon well-established law, as articulated by the United States Supreme Court and a variety of federal courts, that a deadline for independent nominating petitions twenty three weeks before a general election is not rationally based, infringes upon the rights of candidates and those who have signed their nominating petitions in support of their candidacy, and violates the candidate’s equal protection rights under the federal and state constitutions.”

Walton called Brown’s petition “a frivolous waste of time” last week after the BOE’s ruling. Brown acknowledged at an event Monday that his bid for the ballot was optimistic.

“We knew that it would be a 50-50 proposition. So we anticipated the action of the Erie County Board of Elections,” Brown said. “We respectfully disagree with their action, but we knew it would be a 50-50 proposition at best; but again, my focus remains on our write-in candidacy.”

You can view the full lawsuit below:

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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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