A meeting of the St. Croix Board of Elections on Thursday ended with a lot of people shouting angrily at one another. It was not an uncommon ending for a meeting of the board. The board’s meetings this year have been fueled with personality clashes among board members, along with a heavy presence of vocal and at times aggressive residents – whose dissatisfaction boils over at most meetings.
Now that dissatisfaction is being focused with a petition to recall Rupert Ross Jr. Ross serves as both the chairman of the St. Croix Board of Elections and the V.I. Joint Board of Elections.
The residents, represented by Mary Moorhead, filed the petition Thursday morning with V.I. Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. “We’re here as a group of concerned citizens,” Moorhead said outside the Elections Office with a dozen or so people behind her. “We are concerned about a plethora of wrongdoings here in the Virgin Islands.”
The group outlines in the petition the reasons they are seeking Ross’ removal from office. The issues center on “neglect of duty,” Moorhead said.
The petition states Ross prepares meeting agendas that “do not allow for public comment,” fails to present all communications addressed to him in his role as chair, fails to follow due process procedures when addressing unethical conduct and “misrepresented the Election Board’s rules and regulations on radio airwaves, when addressing the issue of provisional ballots in the St. Croix District.”
Ross, who has been harangued throughout much of the year, had little to say other than that the people have the right to pursue the recall.
“If enough people feel I’m no longer worthy of serving on the Board of Elections as a member, they have the right to petition the system to recall me,” he said.
“I’m the voice of the board and therefore am a target,” Ross said.