St. Croix candidates draw lots for ballot positions


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ST. CROIX - Candidates on St. Croix drew lots Tuesday to decide their positions on the ballot for the General Election in November, while their counterparts in the St. Thomas-St. John District will have to wait until Thursday to do the same.

The lots cast on Tuesday determined placement on the ballot only for the 20 candidates in the St. Croix District senatorial race and the five individuals seeking seats to the St. Croix Board of Elections.

The Elections System determines where each candidate will appear on the ballot by dropping numbers representing ballot positions into a box. Each candidate is entitled to a turn to draw from the box, picking in the order they filed their nomination papers and petitions.

Deputy Supervisor of Elections Genevieve Whitaker facilitated the process with Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes listening on speaker phone from the St. Thomas Elections Office.

Candidates who did not show up on Tuesday or who did not send a representative, were assigned a position on the upcoming ballot when Whitaker drew a number for them.

The process typically also includes the selection of ballot places for individuals running in the territorial gubernatorial race, the delegate race and the senator at-large race.

However, that did not happen on Tuesday because the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections failed to certify their election by Sunday's deadline and had a second failed attempt at certifying the primary results for lack of a quorum on Monday.

They finally were able to muster a quorum Tuesday and certified their elections, but Fawkes said they must now wait two days before they can move forward with casting the lots and will do so on Thursday.

"They now have to wait, because they need to make sure they are able to notify all of the candidates about the scheduled time," she said. "Once that is done, then we can move forward."

The procedural casting of lots is a traditional part of the process and is anticipated by some candidates as they plan their campaign strategies and marketing based on the number that they pull at the draw.

Many candidates and their core team of supporters get excited, some cross their fingers and even make silent wishes hoping to pull the number "1" ticket or other "lucky" numbers, such as 7, 11 or 13.

Fawkes said the process on St. Croix went smoothly and plans are being finalized for the upcoming election. She said the casting of the lots for the remaining races will take place in each district at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Despite the slight delay, the system is still on its way to meeting all of the upcoming deadlines as they move forward to the election, Fawkes said.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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