Buffalo Poll Worker Admits Pre-stamping Ballots with Byron Brown’s Name During Write-in Campaign

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on 6/5/2020 "Cuomo Primetime"

A poll worker in Buffalo, New York, admitted stamping several ballots in her custody during this past week’s election, when Mayor Byron Brown won an upset victory over India Walton, the socialist who had defeated him in the Democratic primary.

As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, Brown apparently won nearly 60% of the vote:

Fellow “democratic socialist” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came to Buffalo to campaign for Walton, and warned fellow Democrats to line up behind the party’s official nominee: “Any Democrat right now that is trying to establish a precedent of not uniting behind the party’s nominee is playing a dangerous game,” she said.

But Byron mounted an ambitious effort to convince voters to “write down Byron Brown.”

The write-in campaign is a rare victory for the tactic — so rare that the last significant race in which it succeeded was in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Alaska, when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) used it to defeat a Tea Party-backed candidate who had won the Republican primary.

Some voters wrote Brown’s name in; others were able to use a stamp to do so. But one poll worker took matters into her own hands, according to the Buffalo News:

The Erie County Board of Elections dismissed a team of poll workers Tuesday after receiving an allegation of a ballot that was prestamped for Mayor Byron W. Brown on Buffalo’s West Side.

The board was alerted by a 36-year-old West Side voter named Allison. She spoke to The News on the condition that her last name be withheld because she has small children and did not wish to get involved in the controversy of a divisive mayoral race.

Allison said an elections inspector handed her a ballot that was already stamped with Brown’s name on it, though it was not stamped in the proper box for write-in votes.

The total number of prestamped ballots given to voters could not be higher than 50, [Republican elections commissioner Ralph M.] Mohr said. That’s how many ballots had been cast at that polling site when the Board of Elections was alerted to the problem.

Despite the irregularity, neither campaign is claiming that such activity was widespread, and Walton is not claiming fraud. The stamp did not appear in the portion of the ballot where Brown wanted voters to write or stamp his name.

The Buffalo News reported that the poll worker who was stamping ballots believed that she was supposed to have done so.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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