St. Croix Board cuts poll site, creates rule on official letters
Published: August 2, 2012
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ST. CROIX - The St. Croix District Board of Elections met Wednesday in a brief session and discussed a number of issues relevant to the upcoming primary and general elections in the coming weeks.
Board member Raymond Williams made a motion that was approved by the board to eliminate St. Gerard's Hall in Frederiksted as a possible polling place for the general elections in November. The location was not one of the locations chosen for the primary election in September, but Williams said that based on the U.S. Justice Department's inspections to look at the territory's compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Acts, the site had failed miserably, and it was determined that it could not be used.
Voters who use that polling site will be relocated to another site, he said.
During the meeting, board members also voted to direct the board Chairman Rupert Ross Jr. to advise persons the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government that only correspondence signed by the chairman and on Board of Elections letterhead would be considered official correspondence from the board.
At least one member of the board had sent a letter purporting to represent the entire board, but the correspondence was not on behalf of the board members and should not be regarded as such, according to Williams.
Board members did not reveal who sent the letter or other details about it, but the discussion indicated it had happened in more than one instance.
"We don't take this very lightly, so we want to make sure that anything that comes from us as a body be placed on our official letterhead and be specifically coming from the chairman, Mr. Ross," Williams said.
The board additionally discussed dates in preparation for the upcoming election season and scheduled extended hours for the Elections Office and off-site registration.
Registration is open at the Elections Office daily during normal hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours of 5 to 7 p.m. The board also extended hours for registration at Elections offices from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in Sunshine Mall and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays at the office in Sunny Isle Annex.
Williams said the Open Forum to give the community a chance to address concerns about the board and the upcoming elections still is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 22, but the location of the event still is being determined.
The board has released the updated calendar of important dates for the election season that they recently amended based on local law.
The board scheduled a special meeting for 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at the Elections Office to conduct testing of the electronic voting machines and tabulation equipment, and the regularly scheduled general meeting has been set for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 5 and will be the board's final meeting before the Sept. 8 primary election.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.