St. Croix Board of Elections OKs new questionnaire for candidates


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ST. CROIX - The St. Croix Board of Elections on Wednesday approved a draft questionnaire for candidates for public office.

Most of the seven questions pertain to criminal convictions, although there are also questions asking whether the candidate has filed all required local and federal tax returns, and whether the candidate has voted in a jurisdiction outside the U.S. Virgin Islands within the last four years. Additionally, those who served in the military are asked whether their discharge was honorable.

Wednesday's discussion on the proposed questionnaire included concerns raised about whether such a questionnaire could be employed in one district and not the other.

Members of the St. Croix Board plan to make a motion for the Joint Boards of Election to adopt the questionnaire for all candidates territory-wide during a meeting scheduled for next week.

During its regular meeting on Wednesday, the St. Croix board also voted to adopt a policy that candidates' names will appear on ballots the same way their names appear on their voter registration cards.

Discussion surrounding the issue focused on the use of nicknames - and different nicknames in different venues - and whether nicknames should be allowed at all on the ballot.

"We want to be able to have some consistency so people would know candidates on the ballot by the same name that they have on the voter registration," said Board Chair Adelbert Bryan. "Because sometimes we use names other than the names we have on the voter registration card."

Bryan and members Roland Moolenaar, Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal and Glenn Webster voted to adopt the policy that a candidate's name on the ballot must be the same as it appears on that candidate's voter registration. Members Raymond Williams, Rupert Ross Jr. and Lisa Moorhead were absent.

The board also discussed a variety of matters, and heard a report from Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes.

As part of her report, Fawkes told the board that a new van had arrived on St. Croix on Nov. 27, to be driven by Elections staff and board members.

Right now, she said, the V.I. Department of Property and Procurement is in the process of inspecting and licensing the van. Among other things, the van will be used to haul the new voting machines for demonstrations, Fawkes said after the meeting.

The Joint Boards are also planning a retreat for Dec. 13 through 15 at Carambola Beach Resort and Spa on St. Croix.

Although there had been a tentative Joint Boards meeting set for Dec. 12, Fawkes said St. Thomas members wanted to do the meeting during the retreat, rather than the day before.

After discussion, the St. Croix Board voted for the Joint Board meeting to be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 13 at Carambola, at the start of the retreat.

The board heard updates and reports and discussed a variety of issues, including outstanding stipends to board members and outstanding payments to stenographers, voting machine demonstrations and training.

In other action, the board voted:

- To post a vacancy to be filled for executive assistant to the Board of Elections.

- To add mock ballot and voting demonstrations to the voting machine demonstrations.

- To have its next meeting at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 8.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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