Deadline to certify elections passes with silence from boards


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ST. THOMAS - Elections officials could not be reached on Sunday, their deadline date to certify the primary elections in both the St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix election districts.

The results, which initially were to be certified Aug. 12, still had not been released late Sunday night.

The district boards, which are responsible for the certifications, could be held responsible and fined up to $500, according to the V.I. Code.

"Whoever willfully delays or causes to be delayed any election returns, or attempts to do so, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both," the code states.

Candidates have been waiting patiently since Tuesday to hear the official results, as the results will confirm the candidates who will be in the race for the General Election on Nov. 4.

V.I. Elections System Supervisor Caroline Fawkes deferred all questions Tuesday to the chairmen of the district boards, Arturo Watlington Jr. and Adelbert Bryan, neither of whom could be reached. She also suggested speaking with Joint Board Chairwoman Alecia Wells, who also could not be reached.

No explanation was released as to the delay in the posting of official results, which customarily goes hand-in-hand with the certification.

The finalized count for the primary election could make or break the chances for a number of Senate candidates.

On St. Thomas, Sean Georges and Sen. Clarence Payne III are on the cusp of the seventh slot, with Marvin Blyden beating them by less than 100 votes at 1,622.

Sean Georges, who was ousted from the General Election after receiving 1,575 votes, technically still is in the race.

Payne, who received 1,529 votes in the primary, also is still within range to keep his Senate seat.

On St. Croix, incumbent Sen. Diane Capehart came out ahead of Paul Arnold Jr. by just 30 votes, the difference between 1,333 and 1,303. If the two trade places, Capehart would be bumped out of the race and lose her seat.

It is unlikely that any of the other races could see any significant changes in their results.

The Donna Christensen-Basil Ottley Jr. ticket prevailed by more than 900 votes over the closest challenger in the gubernatorial race, and Stacey Plaskett beat Shawn-Michael Malone by more than 700 votes in the race for the delegate to Congress seat.

The St. Croix District already has counted 388 walk-in ballots. Of the 129 mail-in ballots that were sent out from the district, 120 have been returned and counted.

Tuesday was the deadline to receive mail-ins, which had to be postmarked by Aug. 2.

The St. Croix office still has not revealed the number of provisional ballots.

In the St. Thomas-St. John District, 797 walk-in ballots were reported and 57 provisional ballots, of which six were disqualified and one had no votes. As a result, 50 provisional ballots were counted.

Of the 174 mail-in ballots that the district sent out, 152 were returned, though two were disqualified from the count.

As of Friday, each district still had about 300 write-in ballots to review.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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