The court fight between Erie County Republican and Democrat election commissioners over the posting of Town Board candidate names on the ballots in Amherst, West Seneca, Orchard Park and Clarence got wings Friday as attorneys were ordered to file appellate briefs by Monday afternoon in Rochester.
Alan P. Gertsman, first deputy Erie County attorney, confirmed that officials of the Rochester-based Appellate Division of State Supreme Court have notified the county Law Department to have briefs defending the current machine voting system in those races ready by 5 p.m. Monday.
Refusing to comment on efforts by GOP Elections Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr to try to force paper ballots in those four contests alone, Gertsman said appellate officials indicated that a full five-judge court could hear the case Wednesday.
Mohr is appealing court orders issued in the case by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph D. Mintz on Oct. 10 upholding the use of traditional ballot spots on county voting machines. He couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
Tuesday Mintz, urging the case be taken to the appellate court, once again rejected efforts by Mohr and the county GOP to force voting on paper ballots in those four town council races on the contention the current system is unfair to GOP candidates because of their peculiar ballot spots on machines.
Mintz Tuesday made it clear in court that at an Oct. 7 hearing he had ruled that voting machine ballots using historic multicolumn lists for persons running for the same job, even if those column separated them from other candidates in the same party, had to be used in the Nov. 4 voting.
Contending state election officials have to mandate a change in the voting machine balloting positions, Mintz Tuesday held off on a request from the county attorney's office and Democratic County Election Commissioner Laurence F. Adamczyk to have Mohr cited for contempt of court in the dispute.