Almost 300 paper ballots cast in the Sept. 8 primary will be counted a second time, the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections decided Monday. The decision came in the form of approval of a request made by Jean Forde, who is the eight-place finisher in the Democratic primary for the St. Thomas-St. John Senate district. Forde, who asked for the recount in a notarized letter to the board, trails seventh-place finisher Justin Harrigan Sr. by five votes, 1,480 to 1,475, according to election results the board announced Friday. The meeting Monday was punctuated by flare-ups of a controversy that began at Friday’s meeting.
Right after the meeting was called to order, board member Lawrence Boschulte said he would not remain at a meeting alongside Board member Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, who had previously pledged to recuse herself from board proceedings as she campaigns for the Senate At-large seat. “With that said, I am gone for the day,” Boschulte said and walked out.
Unlike last Friday, a quorum of four members – Marsh-Monsanto, Claudette Georges, Alecia Wells and Colette White-Amaro – remained in the meeting room Monday and unanimously approved Forde’s recount request. White-Amaro said the concerns raised in Forde’s letter about human error potentially altering the outcome of the election were valid. “I think it’s a fair assessment,” she said. “It could have been possible to have human error, and because the votes are so close to each other, I think a recount would be in order.”