DA Files Charges Against Activist Betty Grant: Court Date Set for Monday December 6

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

Mrs. Grant was given an appearance ticket on one count of a misdemeanor in relation to election law and one count of Harassment in the Second Degree (violation). 

Her court date has been set for Monday, December 6 at 9:30 a.m. in Buffalo City Court, Part Two at 50 Delaware Avenue. She is being represented by attorney James A.W. McLeod.

Letters of support on Mrs. Grant’s behalf are welcome and  can be emailed to him at : JudgeJim148@gmail.com

 Grant, who has advocated on behalf of Buffalo’s Black  community for over four  decades,  is  accused of  “technically” entering “an occupied  voting booth,” and observing  the preparation of another person’s ballot while inside a polling place at the Delavan Grider Community Center on East Delavan Avenue during early voting on October 23 . She is also accused of recording the incident and streaming it live on Facebook Live.

This year’s mayoral election was  one of this city’s worst, marked by unprecedented smear tactics, lies and fear mongering directed at  Democratic Primary winner India Walton, whom Mrs. Grant supported.   

The person Mrs. Grant is  being accused of allegedly “harassing” was Mrs. Grant’s neighbor. The other person involved was   a Byron Brown supporter inside the polling place “helping” two other women who allegedly didn’t know how to use the rubber stamp to write in Brown’s name. Grant’s neighbor was asked if   she needed help voting as well. At that point Grant protested the intervention.    

 According to the DA’s office, Mrs. Grant’ neighbor whose ballot  was being prepared, urged prosecutors to charge Mrs. Grant. The DA’s office has stated that there will be no charges filed against any other person involved in the alleged incident. 

In an unrelated incident the Erie County Board of Elections dismissed a team of poll workers after receiving an allegation of a ballot that was pre-stamped for Mayor Brown. No one was legally charged.   

 Betty Jean Grant is one of the few people left in this community who will dare speak truth to power. The founder of We Are Women Warriors, she holds a Master’s Degree from UB and  is a regular columnist for The Challenger and The Criterion newspapers. A businesswoman, she is a former teacher,  Chairperson of the Erie County Legislator, University District Councilwoman, Board of Education member, talk show host and Board of Elections worker.

 Long before the East Side even got a testing site for  COVID-19 Betty Jean was in the forefront of providing free masks and sanitizer to the community throughout the pandemic; riding for hours in her car with a bullhorn on the roof, sounding the alarm and educating a community that had  initially, all but been ignored.