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Erie County District Attorney's office investigating voter intimidation, fraud allegations at polling location

District Attorney John Flynn says his office was contacted by the Buffalo Police Department for assistance.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County District Attorney's office is assisting in investigating complaints of alleged voter intimidation, fraud or prohibiting conduct at polling locations in the county.

District Attorney John Flynn says his office was contacted by the Buffalo Police Department for assistance.

Here is Flynn's full statement:

At the request of the Buffalo Police Department, I have designated an Assistant District Attorney to act as a liaison for their department to answer any questions and review any complaints related to voter intimidation, fraud, or other prohibited conduct that may occur at polling places in the City of Buffalo. 

All Erie County residents should be able to confidently exercise their fundamental right to vote in safe and secure polling place. My office, along with the Board of Elections and our partners in law enforcement, will ensure that any unlawful behavior is thoroughly investigated. Any attempt to intimidate or prevent a person from casting their ballot is illegal and will not be tolerated.

Any complaints related to prohibited conduct or other incidents at polling locations in Erie County can be reported to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office by calling 716-858-2424. Any violence or potentially dangerous conduct should be reported to law enforcement immediately.

At this time, the incident that occurred at the polling location at the Delavan Grider Community Center remains under investigation.

That incident that occurred at the Delavan Grider Community Center, involving former Erie County legislator and former Buffalo Councilmember Betty Jean Grant, is also being investigated by New York State Attorney General's office.

The probe centers on an appearance on Facebook live Saturday while Grant was early voting at the Delavan Grider Community Center on Buffalo’s East Side.  Grant says she saw what looked like an unusual activity involving an older voter in a wheelchair.

“I took my cellphone that was in my hand and started recording,” Grant told 2 On Your Side's Steve Brown.

The video shows a woman standing next to the older voter, pointing out where to cast a write-in vote for incumbent Mayor Byron Brown. The woman even produced a stamp to enter Brown’s name into the write-in space. Throughout the video, Grant can be heard repeating, “That’s illegal.”

A poll worker is also heard and briefly seen in the video telling Grant to stop recording.

On Monday, Grant was sent a letter from the Erie County Board of Elections notifying her that she is banned from all Erie County polling places for the rest of the 2021 election balloting.