73-year-old Democrat election worker, former official charged for harassing voter

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The Erie County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against 73-year-old Betty Jean Grant of Buffalo.

The defendant was given an appearance ticket to be arraigned on Monday, December 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. in Buffalo City Court on one count of Misdemeanor in Relation to Elections under New York State Election Law and one count of Harassment in the Second Degree (violation).

It is alleged that on October 23, 2021, the defendant knowingly entered an occupied voting booth and observed the preparation of another person’s ballot while inside a polling place located at the Delavan Grider Community Center on East Delavan Avenue in the City of Buffalo.

Grant shared the video to Facebook, posting the following message:

“The woman in the blue jacket is a private citizen who is being allowed by the polling inspectors to compromise the voting process,” Grant wrote. “Why is she being allowed to tell a voter who to vote for? Why is she having contact with voters if she is not voting or she has finished voting. Why is she still in the room? She does not work for the Board of Elections. This is voter intimidation!”

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It is further alleged that the defendant engaged in a course of conduct, with the intent to alarm or seriously annoy another person, by filming the individual who was submitting their ballot. The defendant allegedly streamed the incident on Facebook live and posted the video onto her personal Facebook page.

No charges will be filed against any other person involved in the alleged incident. DA Flynn commends the Erie County Board of Elections for their assistance in the investigation.

According to Ballotpedia, “Betty Jean Grant was the Democratic District 2 county legislator in Erie County in New York. She took office in 2007. Grant did not run for re-election in 2017. Grant was a Democratic candidate for mayor of Buffalo, New York. Grant was defeated in the primary election on September 12, 2017. She was a 2014 Democratic candidate for District 63 of the New York State Senate.”