With more than 400 ballots already cast early voting was suspended Sunday night in the wake of the V.I. Supreme Court re-affirming its decision that Sen. Alicia Hansen be removed from the ballot. According to a press release, Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes made the decision to comply with the Supreme Court order. It is anyone’s guess when early voting will resume and what course of action the St. Croix District Board of Elections and the Supervisor of Elections will take to ensure that the ballots for the Nov. 4 General Election are in compliance with the order handed down Friday. As part of the opinion by the justices, Supervisor Caroline Fawkes has been ordered to immediately recall all General Election ballots with Hansen’s name and replace them with ballots omitting her as a candidate or in the alternative “remove Hansen’s name from the ballot, such as by covering her name with a sticker”, the opinion read.
US Virgin Islands: St. Croix Elections Board recommends changes to early voting bill | Virgin Islands Daily News
During its regular meeting Wednesday, the St. Croix District Board of Elections voted to forward recommendations to the Senate and governor that they say will safeguard the rights of residents and make the process of early voting more efficient for the board. Board member Raymond Williams made a motion that was approved by the board to send recommendations to Gov. John deJongh Jr. on changes that should be included in the early voting bill, as requested by his office. Williams said current language in proposed changes to legislation are contradictory, and the members present agreed that at the next joint board meeting they also will recommend that the joint board forward additional suggestions to the chief legal counsel of the V.I. Legislature to review. The board agreed that they will discuss with the joint board the ability to recreate walk-in ballots in the event that a ballot is not readable by the machine. Williams said that would allow them to properly make selections when the intent of the voter is clear. Chairman Adelbert Bryan said the board is in the process of preparing to go before the Legislature for its annual budget hearing Aug. 19.
A former Elections official has raised questions about what appear to be discrepancies in unofficial vote counts that the V.I. Elections System posted at different times on Saturday evening as the results from the primary election were rolling in. However, a spokeswoman from the company that sold the V.I. Elections System the DS200 vote tabulating machines said there is a simple explanation for what occurred – and that the final unofficial tallies posted in the system from Saturday’s count are the correct ones. “The results are absolutely correct at this time,” said Kathy Rogers, a spokeswoman for Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software. Former V.I. Elections System Supervisor John Abramson Jr. raised the issue in a letter Monday to St. Croix Board of Elections Chairman Adelbert Bryan. Abramson seeks an explanation of “discrepancies,” in which a few candidates appear to lose votes that had already been counted. Bryan said Monday afternoon that he had not yet seen Abramson’s letter.
At a specially called meeting, the St. Croix Board of Elections discussed a newly released audit report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Office of the Inspector General. The meeting on Friday was brief because a quorum was not met, with members Raymond Williams and Lisa Harris Moorehead absent and Rupert Ross and Roland Moolenaar excused. Board Chairman Adelbert Bryan and members Lilliana Belardo O’Neal and Glenn Webster were present, along with newly appointed Elections System Supervisor Caroline Adams Fawkes, and they moved into executive session to discuss the confidential 16-page report. In a letter accompanying the report and addressed to Bryan, Inspector General Curtis Crider said he had sent the proposed report titled Elections System of the Virgin Islands Compliance With the Help America Vote Act of 2002 for Bryan’s review and comment.
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.
Defendants in the V.I. Superior Case filed on behalf of six of the seven members of the St. Croix Board of Elections say they are ready to defend themselves against charges of defamation of character and to deny they created a scandal. The members of the Board of Elections – Rupert Ross Jr., Lisa Harris Moorhead, Dodson James, Anita Davila, Carmen Golden and Raymond Williams – filed suit in V.I. Superior Court against members of the V.I. Action Group, fellow Board of Elections member Adelbert Bryan and others who the board members say are trying to ruin their reputations.
US Virgin Islands: 6 Elections Board members file lawsuit against Adelbert Bryan, V.I. Action Group | Virgin Islands Daily News
Six of the seven members of the St. Croix Board of Elections filed suit in V.I. Superior Court against members of the V.I. Action Group, fellow board member Adelbert Bryan and others who the board members say are trying to ruin their reputations. In the 16-page complaint, plaintiffs Rupert Ross Jr., Lisa Harris Moorhead, Dodson James, Anita Davila, Carmen Golden and Raymond Williams charge that the defendants created a scandal and produced and published false, misleading and offensive material about them to recall them as duly elected members of the V.I. Board of Elections.
US Virgin Islands: Efforts to recall Elections board members progressing – claims initially stemmed from a decision banning the use of paper ballots in 2010 | Virgin Islands Daily News
Half a dozen concerned residents gathered Thursday outside the V.I. Elections Office in Crystal Gade where they officially turned in petitions to recall five members of the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections. Coupled with a similar move on St. Croix recently, only three members out of the 14 elected to the V.I. Joint Board of Elections have been the targets of recall petitions: Those members are Adelbert Bryan, Lawrence Boschulte and Wilma Marsh Monsanto. The rest – St. Thomas-St. John board members Alecia Wells, Lorna Thomas, Colette White-Amaro, Claudette Georges and Harry Daniel, along with St. Croix board members Rupert Ross Jr., Lisa Moorhead, Dodson James, Raymond Williams, Carmen Golden and Ana Davila – have had individual recall petitions filed against them.
In a frenzied but semi-functional reconvened meeting of the V.I. Joint Board of Elections on Wednesday, the board reappointed the current supervisor of elections and took some long-awaited, though slightly retroactive, steps toward election reform. The meeting, which was recessed while in executive session on July 12, reconvened about 9:45 a.m., still in executive session for the purpose of discussing the position of supervisor of the V.I. Election System.
Within an hour, the board re-opened to the public, and St. Croix member Dodson James reported that they had discussed the findings of the Screening Committee, which recommended two names: current Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. and James Weber III.
US Virgin Islands: Members unruly behavior forces Board of Elections to end meeting | Virgin Islands Daily News
Egos erupted Tuesday at the V.I. Joint Board of Elections meeting, and it recessed after an hour without having accomplished anything substantive because members were unwilling to offer each other the courtesy of the floor – constantly interrupting and talking over one another, officials said.
After less than an hour, the majority of which was spent in executive session, members poured outside the conference room, some shouting at each other. Shortly after, the stenographer walked out because it had been impossible to accurately transcribe the meeting with members continually cutting in and talking at the same time, said Board Chairman Rupert Ross Jr.
The board will reconvene Friday morning to pick up the meeting where it left off, essentially doubling expenses paid for by taxpayers in order to fund the meeting. With flights and board member stipends, the total additional costs amount to about $2,500.
Election officials will hold a series of outreach events throughout St. Croix in the coming months, targeting schools, post offices, shopping areas and other places in an effort to get as many residents as possible registered to vote. And one of the first events on the schedule will be a voter registration event at the ceremonies marking Emancipation Day, July 3, in Frederiksted.
Board member Dodson James told fellow members about the outreach committee’s plans during the board’s regular meeting Wednesday morning. While James said a schedule has not been completed, board member Adelbert Bryan suggested adding the Emancipation Day drive. His motion passed unanimously.
The V.I. Joint Board of Elections met Wednesday on St. John and created two new committees to deal with major issues, including legislative changes and the applications for supervisor and deputy supervisor of elections, said Board Chairman Rupert Ross Jr. But no report came out of the Election Reform Committee, which a number of people…