Erie County Board of Elections to appeal Byron Brown’s federal court victory placing him on ballot


BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) The Erie County Board of Elections has voted to appeal last Friday’s federal court ruling which ordered the board to place Byron Brown on the ballot in November under the Buffalo Party line.

It was a split decision by the board on Tuesday. There are only two commissioners who can vote, a Democrat and a Republican and the Democratic commissioner, Jeremy Zellner wanted to appeal two court cases. But Republican Ralph Mohr would only agree to appeal the federal case. A tie results in a failed vote.

A Federal and a State Supreme Court judge each independently handed down rulings on Friday ordering the Erie County Board of Elections to validate Byron Brown’s petition to run on a Buffalo party line even though it was submitted August 17, months after a May deadline. Both judges ruled that the May 25 deadline infringed on the constitutional rights of a late emerging candidate.

India Walton has already filed appeals in both cases. But the reason Commissioner Ralph Mohr was against the board of elections filing appeals in the federal case is that it would’ve prompted an immediate stay of the order, potentially knocking Mayor Brown off the ballot and Mohr didn’t want to tip the balance for one candidate. “It would be to the immediate benefit of of the candidates and it would place an undue burden that the other candidates didn’t have upon him.”

Now, time is working against a Thursday deadline to certify who is on the ballot. “My concern is, we got a board staff that we keep moving the goal posts for and telling them to do things this way and we have until this day to do that and that’s changed a lot in the last two years,” said Zellner. “This is a critical change t a last minute juncture that is gonna cause people to rush things here and we don’t want to rush things here.”

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