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.
On Saturday night as primary election results were being counted, the V.I. Elections System posted what appeared to be three different point-in-time vote counts on its website, one at 9:14 p.m., one at 9:41 p.m. and a final one at 9:47 p.m.
For most candidates, the number of votes increased during that time, as would be expected as a count progressed.
However, for a few candidates, the changes between the 9:41 p.m. posting and the 9:47 p.m. results involved their vote totals going down – giving the impression of votes disappearing – rather than staying the same or going up.
Specifically, Delegate to Congress candidate Emmett Hansen II had a total vote count of 340 at 9:14 p.m.
Hansen’s votes went up to 675 with the 9:41 p.m. printout. However, six minutes later, at 9:47 p.m., the final count showed Hansen’s vote total had gone down to 664, a loss of 11 votes in those six minutes.
Hansen said Monday afternoon that he was upset about the situation.
“Mathematically, I don’t understand how that happens. I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to explain it,” Hansen said. “When we’re looking at the vote count and it keeps going down, it makes me wonder. I’ve never, ever seen anything like that before, and I’ve been involved in a lot elections.”