Gillian Brown v. Board of Elections
by Geoff Kelly - posted 9:09 am, August 18, 2011
In this week’s column, I wrote a little about the travails of Gillian Brown, a candidate for Buffalo City Court who was kicked off the ballot after the commissioners of the Erie County Board of Elections disqualified nearly a third of the signatures on his nominating petition. I think his case illustrates the manner in which the petitioning process offers the established parties a tool for shutting out candidates they haven’t sanctioned.
Here’s Brown’s summary of why his signatures should be reinstated and he should be allowed on the ballot in next month’s Democratic primary, which he filed in New York State Supreme Court on August 16. In addition to the two commissioners of the BOE, Brown names Kate M. Bartolotta in the order to show cause. Bartolotta, who works for Democratic Party headquarters, filed the objections to Brown’s petition, but she is just a surrogate. The true objector is an incumbent who is worried that Brown might edge him out: Judge David Manz.