As the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections on Tuesday resumed counting paper ballots from the week-old General Election, tension is showing between some board members and the V.I. attorney general, who announced late last week that his office will investigate the territory’s election. Allegations of improprieties on and surrounding Election Day have been widespread. The St. Thomas-St. John Board, for instance, did not certify its voting machines until about 12 hours before the polls opened and failed to conduct a public test of the machines working properly prior to certification.
On Election Night, the St. Croix Board of Elections severely restricted public access to the room where votes were being tallied. And neither board counted all of the votes cast on Election Day within 24 hours of the election, as required by law.
Those and other complaints presaged V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer’s appointment last Friday of a five-person panel to investigate the election. In a press release from Government House, Frazer said the “purpose of the investigation is intended to put to rest all the unfounded allegations of fraud, corruptions and whatever other charges have been levied.”
When asked Tuesday why he described the allegations as “unfounded” before the investigation had begun, Frazer said Tuesday that his phrasing may have been “a slip.”
“We have no preconceived notions about the allegations,” he said.
Frazer said what he meant was that the allegations that have come to the attention of his office have been made without evidence. He said part of the panel’s task will be to determine whether the allegations have any merit.