A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which five candidates who ran unsuccessfully were seeking to throw out the territory’s 2012 General Election results. Senior District Court Judge Raymond Finch on Thursday issued a memorandum opinion and order dismissing the case on a number of grounds. He ruled that the plaintiffs – senatorial candidate Lawrence Olive, Senate At-large candidate Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Delegate to Congress candidate Norma Pickard-Samuel and Board of Elections candidates Harriet Mercer and Diane Magras – failed to articulate specific wrongs in their December complaint. “Plaintiffs’ allegations do not distinguish their concerns – about the use of certain voting machines in the election or the election results in general – from concerns of other voters or even other candidates,” Finch wrote.
US Virgin Islands
Articles about voting issues in the US Virgin Islands.
US Virgin Islands: Federal funds to buy voting machines depend on compliance with Disablilities Act | Virgin Islands Daily News
The V.I. Elections System must overcome at least two distinct hurdles before it can purchase new electronic voting machines. Board of Elections attorney Kimberly Salisbury told the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections at its meeting Thursday that the Elections System must become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act – and all other federal laws – before the federal government will release the funds to purchase the machines. That means getting the U.S. Justice Department to certify that the new St. Thomas elections office is ADA compliant, according to board members Claudette Georges and Alecia Wells. It also means the board must adopt a new facilities plan – a process that, according to Georges and Wells, requires a public comment period and may take several months. The ADA certification could happen by the end of the month following a planned Feb. 21 visit by Justice Department officials, according to St. Thomas-St. John Deputy Elections Supervisor Mabel Maduro. It is less clear how long it might take to adopt a new facilities plan. No one at the meeting Thursday knew specifically where the last form of such a plan might exist.
Uncertainty about the territory’s 2012 election will last right up until the territory’s first swearing-in ceremony on Monday. District Judge Raymond Finch on Friday listened to almost four hours of arguments and testimony via teleconference about whether he should grant the request of five unsuccessful 2012 candidates to throw out the territory’s certified election results and grant a new election on a single-page paper ballot. At the end of the hearing, Finch gave the plaintiffs until Sunday to respond to the government’s motion to dismiss their complaint in advance of his ruling, which he said he intends to issue prior to Monday’s scheduled swearing-in of Board of Education members.
Chief District Judge Curtis Gomez has blocked an attempt by five Virgin Islands candidates to prevent the swearing-in of the territory’s newly elected officials. The candidates, who lost their races in the November General Election, are preparing to file a motion today to recuse Gomez from hearing the case. In an amended complaint filed Dec. 21, senatorial candidate Lawrence Olive, Senate At-large candidate Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Delegate to Congress candidate Norma Pickard-Samuel and Board of Elections candidates Harriet Mercer and Diane Magras asked the court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony. Each party is acting “pro se” and representing himself or herself.
Five unsuccessful candidates from the 2012 election are asking a federal judge to halt the swearing-in of the territory’s newest elected officials, claiming irregularities in the election cycle prevented a fair vote. In an amended complaint filed Dec. 21, Senatorial candidate Lawrence Olive, Senate At-large candidate Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Delegate to Congress candidate Norma Pickard-Samuel and Board of Elections candidates Harriet Mercer and Diane Magras are seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the January swearing-in ceremony.
US Virgin Islands: St. Thomas Elections Board to take up complaints today | Virgin Islands Daily News
On the eve of the first Joint Board of Elections meeting since the territory’s controversial General Election, board members in the St. Thomas-St. John District were still grappling with how to respond to a laundry list of complaints from unsuccessful candidates who are seeking a recount or a new election. The St. Thomas-St. John Board intended to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to address complaints from senatorial candidate Lawrence Olive, Senate At-large candidate Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Delegate to Congress candidate Norma Pickard-Samuel and Board of Elections candidates Harriet Mercer and Diane Magras. Taken together the complaints allege almost 50 violations of local and federal elections laws.
US Virgin Islands: Losing candidates send complaints blasting Elections System | Virgin Islands Daily News
Almost a month has passed since the polls closed on Election Day, but the fight is not over for a handful of unsuccessful candidates who sent letters on Monday blasting V.I. elections officials for the conduct of the 2012 election and demanding a recount or a new election. ”These are just some of the problems, and nobody seems to want to step up to the plate to bring them forward, but I’m going to do it because I am a citizen of the Virgin Islands and a voter and a candidate, and I observed this first-hand,” said Lawrence Olive, a candidate for the 30th Legislature who was one of five candidates who filed complaints on Monday. “Now I know what we’re dealing with in the Elections System. Reform must come. Changes must be brought forward. If an investigation needs to take place, if people have to go to jail, then so be it. That is the only way we’re going to clean up the corruption.”
US Virgin Islands: Federal audit of Elections System delayed by John Abramson’s absence | Virgin Islands Daily News
A federal audit of the V.I. Elections System scheduled to begin last week is being delayed because of the absence of V.I. Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. Curtis Crider, the inspector general for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, said Thursday that two factors contributed to the delay. ”One, we wanted to make sure it was after the election was over,” Crider said.
US Virgin Islands: Attorney General Office investigating its own ‘clients’ | Virgin Islands Daily News
An investigation by the V.I. Justice Department into complaints about the territory’s 2012 elections raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and how they could affect the outcome of the probe. Two weeks ago, V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer announced that he had set up a panel of his senior staff to look into a multitude of voter complaints about the territory’s 2012 elections.
US Virgin Islands: Outcome unchanged on St. Croix after board finishes counting votes | Virgin Islands Daily News
Almost two weeks after the General Election, the St. Croix Board of Elections on Monday morning wrapped up counting all elements of the vote, an official said. The final tallying of votes did not change the outcome of the election or displace any of the winners, which have held their leads since electronic votes were totaled on the evening of Nov. 6, just after the polls closed for the General Election.