Election integrity, a vital component of any democracy, is under threat in the United States of America.
Controversies surrounded the last two presidential elections, as well as local races in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, and Texas.
New York can now be added to the list.
WKBW notes that police have charged former Democratic legislator Betty Jean Grant with violating New York State election law during the last mayoral race.
Specifically, Grant, 73, is charged with “one count of harassment in the second degree and one count of a misdemeanor in relation to Elections under New York State Election Law.”
The incident took place on Oct. 23 at the Delevan Grider Community Center.
The Buffalo News reports that Grant, who also served as a worker for the Board of Elections, became upset when she noticed a woman providing assistance to a female voter in her 80s, who had questions about how to cast her ballot.
Grant pulled out her phone and began filming, posting the video on Facebook Live.
That video, now deleted, showed Grant entering an occupied voting booth and shouting, “That’s illegal.”
Carolette Meadows, the woman helping the elderly voter, reflected, “The minute I said I would help, Betty Jean lost her mind.”
WGRZ reports Meadows was helping the elderly voter use the write-in Byron Brown stamp.
WKBW’s report includes this statement by Meadows:
“You come here and you take an 80-plus-year-old woman, and you make her feel like what she’s doing is against the law. You intimidate and bully the community that if they want to support Byron Brown, they’re doing something wrong.”
Meadows maintains she was not violating guidelines in providing general assistance to the voter. She admits to calling the police on Grant and filing a complaint.
The Erie County Board of Elections acknowledged it received a complaint from the New York Attorney General’s Office.
In response, Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Jeremy Zellner ordered Grant to “stay away from the polling places by 100 feet.”
Zellner also informed Grant that her poll-watching certificate had been revoked.
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the incident.
Buffalo News reports Erie County District Attorney John Flynn Jr. as saying:
“I’m not saying this is the crime of the century here. [But] it is a crime, and the victim in this case, the elderly woman, wants justice.”
Flynn added that the elderly woman “felt harassed and felt violated by this, and pretty much demanded that my office do something about it.”
The Western Journal notes that Grant will appear in Buffalo City Court on Dec. 6.
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