Erie County Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) is calling on the Democratic and Republican Erie County Board of Elections commissioners to discuss increasing voter participation through voter education and outreach at an upcoming legislature committee meeting.

Chairperson Grant is sponsoring a resolution at the October County 11 Legislature session inviting Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis E. Ward and Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr to the next Government Affairs Committee meeting to address these issues.

“Exercising the right to vote is one of our most cherished rights as citizens, and across the United States, there are several states and communities grappling with complex and often controversial changes in election law,” Chairperson Grant said. “In Pennsylvania, a judge recently ruled that the state’s new voter ID law cannot take effect this election because the state, according to the judge, has not eased the process for voters to obtain identification before Election Day.”

“These proposed changes in election laws, some that may cause voter suppression or difficulty, may cause some Erie County and New York voters to worry because they are not sure if these changes apply to them,” Chairperson Grant added. “New York State has its own laws governing elections and balloting, and we county legislators receive calls at our offices asking specific, detailed questions on the laws. The questions are on absentee ballot voting, overseas ballots, especially for military personnel, reasons behind the need for affidavit or emergency ballots, changes in polling places and handicapped accessibility.”

“I believe this would be a great opportunity for Erie County residents and the County Legislature to gain vital information from the Democratic and Republican elections commissioners,” Chairperson Grant concluded. “They could describe voter education and outreach efforts and clarify many situations.”