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Voter upset by shift that disqualifies her

Alesia Young received a rude awakening Tuesday when she tried to vote in Buffalo's mayoral primary.

Young, of 28 Eggert Road, was told she could no longer vote in a Buffalo election.

Unknown to her, Young had been reclassified as a Cheektowaga resident.

It was all news to her -- unwelcome news.

"It makes me feel terrible. They told me I couldn't vote for the mayor because this was Cheektowaga," Young, a Byron W. Brown supporter, said when she showed up Tuesday morning at Pine Hill Primary Center.

"I just know it was a dirty plot, because I have been there for 17 years, and for 17 years I have been considered a Buffalo resident."

The problem is, that for 17 years, Young was mistakenly classified as a Buffalo resident, said Dennis E. Ward, commissioner of the Erie County Board of Elections.

She isn't alone.

Young's home is one of about 15 on Eggert Road, along the Eggert-Delavan Avenue rim of the city, incorrectly listed as being in the city, Ward said. The error was revealed when a GIS survey that was cross-checked with property lines filed with the assessor's office determined the properties were actually in Cheektowaga.

The election commissioner said Young was sent a letter and new voter registration card in the mail telling her of the change.

Young said she wasn't aware of the mailing. And the timing, she fumed, is suspicious.

"Did this have to be when the primaries came up? It just seems strange to happen at this time," Young said.

She said she is confused about which municipality she lives in.

"I pay Buffalo sewer fees, Buffalo water, Buffalo garbage and my ZIP code is 14215. I'm a Buffalo resident," Young said.

e-mail: msommer@buffnews.com

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