63rd State Senate District

WBFO News

A State Supreme Court Justice is ordering the Erie County Board of Elections to certify State Senator Tim Kennedy as the winner of his primary against Betty Jean Grant. 

Lawyers for both candidates were in court Friday. 

Grant, chair of the Erie County Legislature, has challenged the results showing Kennedy with a slight lead, arguing some voters went to the wrong polling place. 

Kennedy released a statement saying the Supreme Court review is complete and that he is the winner. 

Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

State Senator Tim Kennedy is declaring victory in his primary day contest against Erie County Legislature chairwoman Betty Jean Grant.  

The Erie County Board of Elections has spent the week counting absentee and affidavit ballots after a machine count showed Kennedy with a lead of less than 100 votes. 

Speaking in front of Board of Elections headquarters on West Eagle St. late Friday afternoon, the incumbent democrat says after the week-long ballot count, his lead is now "insurmountable."

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Somewhat predictably, a close State Senate primary race is now working its way through the courts.

State Senator Tim Kennedy and County Legislature Chair Betty Jean Grant are locked in a struggle over who won the newly re-districted seat, with at least two more days of legal wrangling going on.

On Wednesday, Grant went back to court seeking a ballot by ballot count from the election, claiming the voting machines didn't count some ballots for her and the legal fight at the Board of Elections is costing her votes with Kennedy less than 300 votes ahead.

WBFO News file photo

Monitors at the Erie County Board of Elections are resuming their count of ballots in the 63rd State Senate primary race between democrats Tim Kennedy and Betty Jean Grant. 

Entering the oversight process, Kennedy, the incumbent, held a lead of 91 votes over Grant, the chair of the Erie County Legislature. 

The Board is counting absentee and affidavit ballots today.  More than 1,100 such ballots have been counted, with about 400 left to tally.  Any disputed ballots will be left to the discretion of State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Glownia. 

WBFO News file photo

Absentee and affidavit ballot counting from last Thursday's primary race in the 63rd State Senate District will now be overseen by a State Supreme Court judge.

The Buffalo News reports that Justice Joseph Glownia today agreed to a request for the oversight by candidate Timothy Kennedy, who currently leads Betty Jean Grant by a 91-vote margin.

There are 410 affidavit ballots that have yet to be counted and many of them come from the city, near Grant's home in the Masten District. There is also a significant number of absentee ballots that are still untabulated.

The race for the 63rd State Senate seat is even tighter than first thought. Incumbent Tim Kennedy now holds a 91-vote lead over challenger Betty Jean Grant. The two Democrats faced off in Thursday's primary.

The Buffalo News reports the new vote total was based on data from memory sticks from each voting machine that were examined by the Board of Elections Friday afternoon. Kennedy was initially ahead by 271 votes before the new numbers came in. There are still more than 1,000 absentee votes to be counted.