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.
The new approach to casting ballots seemed to be a hit with the territory’s voters during the primary election on Saturday. Voters, many of them for the first time, familiarized themselves with the DS 200, a product of Elections Systems and Software, or ES&S. The machine allows voters to fill in a paper ballot so that there is a lasting record of the vote, but it also has the speed and convenience of an electronic voting machine. “It was just inserting a paper,” said Courtney Reese, a voter at Charlotte Amalie High School poll location. “You didn’t really even interact with the machine. It was like scanning or faxing something.” The V.I. Elections System purchased the 43 machines from Elections Systems & Software for $646,480 in 2013, and since has been organizing public demonstrations of the machines and how they work. The machines have been certified by the Election Assistance Commission, which is not required under federal law but is required under Virgin Islands law.