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Betty Jean Grant arraigned on charges from voting booth incident

Thomas O'Neil-White
Betty Jean Grant (far left) and Attorney James McLeod (center left) speak with media after Grant's arraignment.

Family, friends and supporters stood with former Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant inside Buffalo City Court after her arraignment Monday on charges related to an incident during October’s early voting period:

“I’m just disappointed I’m down [at Buffalo City Court] but I want to thank the community for supporting me and standing for rights and for justice,” she said.

The Erie County District Attorney’s office charged Grant with harassment and violating New York election law for knowingly entering an occupied voting both at the Delavan Grider Community Center and recording and streaming the voter turning in their ballot on social media.

Grant contends a supporter of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown was helping two voters rubber stamp Brown’s name onto the ballot, something Grant protested.

Grant’s Attorney James McLeod argued for a dismissal to both charges citing procedural mistakes made by the D.A.’s office but says justice was done Monday by going through the arraignment procedures and is hopeful justice will be done in the long run.

“It’s a simple process,” McLeod said of the arraignment. “The tougher processes, we may get to but we may not have to, depending on what Judge LoTempio does and to the position of the district attorney's office in what they wish to do with this case, whether or not it's their desire to take it all the way to the end, or to resolve it in an amicable in shorter fashion.”

Grant returns to court January 4th.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.