St. Thomas Elections Board certifies primary results after board member calls in from vacation

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ST. THOMAS - More than two weeks after the territory's primary election, the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections certified the district's results using an unorthodox approach during an emergency meeting called Tuesday.

The results 17 days after the Aug. 2 revealed that of 17,269 registered voters, 4,233 voted at the polls and 837 voted as absentee voters.

Voter turnout within the district was 29.36 percent.

All candidates initially slated to move on to the General Election on Nov. 4 after the preliminary count maintained their places once the results were finalized.

The casting of lots, which initially was scheduled to take place Tuesday, has been rescheduled to take place Thursday for the district and territorial races.

St. Croix's district board, which certified its election Sunday - the legal deadline for both districts - held its casting of lots for its district races on Tuesday, on schedule.

The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections was unable to certify its election Sunday because four of the seven members of the board - Arturo Watlington Jr., Lydia Hendricks, Alecia Wells and Harry Daniel - were off-island.

The board could not reach a quorum, which is required to take action - such as certifying the vote - during a meeting.

Daniel returned by Monday and met with board members Claudette Georges and Larry Boschulte, but board member Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, who was on-island, refused to appear.

Wells listened by phone.

Later on Monday, Marsh-Monsanto wrote in a letter to Elections officials that she was not given advance notice of the meeting.

"I must disassociate for my own legal protection," she wrote.

On Tuesday, the same board members - Daniel, Boschulte and Georges - reconvened, with Wells listening in on the phone again.

The meeting was called after the board received a letter Tuesday from V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer, who wrote that he would be forced to either fine or imprison board members if they did not reconvene and certify the election.

Anyone who hinders the certification of the election is subject to a fine of up to $500 or up to one year of imprisonment, according to the V.I. Code.

"I will take no pleasure in such harsh action, but I believe that the actions of the board are approaching a dereliction of duty and may be deemed with willful intent," Frazer wrote.

The board's counsel, Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Salisbury, suggested that the members present - including Wells - submit signatures to certify the election.

Because Wells was on the phone, she could be counted as present given the emergency circumstances, because the board was in violation of the V.I. Code as of Monday for not certifying within 15 days of the primary election.

However, because neither district board has its own bylaws, the board was able to vote to allow the unconventional certification.

It is expected that a traditional quorum of members will ratify the certification during the district board's next meeting, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email voters: 17,269

Machine at polls: 4,233

Absentee: 837

Voter participation: 5,070

Voter turnout: 29.36 percent

Democratic Party

Candidate At polls Absentee Hand count Total

Delegate to Congress

Shawn-Michael Malone 1,923 408 79 2,410

Stacey Plaskett 1,852 344 76 2,272

Emmett Hansen II 136 23 4 163

Governor/Lt. governor

Donna Christensen/ 1,592 365 70 2,027

Basil Ottley Jr.

Adlah Donastorg/ 1,000 138 34 1,172

Angel Torres

Gregory Francis/ 540 143 14 697

Patrick Simeon Sprauve

Moleto Smith Jr./ 483 90 16 589

Hubert Frederick

Marvin Pickering/ 271 29 12 312

Calford Martin

Gerard Luz James II/ 130 20 9 159

Winston Braithwaite

St. Thomas-St. John Senate

Clifford Graham 2,413 447 91 2,951

Myron Jackson 2,132 430 85 2,647

Janette Millin Young 1,876 353 83 2,312

Jean Forde 1,915 327 61 2,303

Juston Harrigan Sr. 1,793 382 75 2,250

Donald Cole 1,757 397 85 2,239

Marvin Blyden 1,622 270 54 1,946

Sean Georges 1,575 284 63 1,922

Clarence Payne III 1,529 304 60 1,893

Julia Joseph Simon 761 127 25 913

Gregory Miller 508 75 8 591

St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections

Maurice Donovan Jr. 996 222 52 1,270

Carla Joseph 995 218 40 1,253

Edwardo Carmona Sr. 728 138 23 889

Democratic Party Races

State chairman

Luis Morales 936 223 43 1,202

Kevin Rodriguez 822 183 39 1,044

Cecil Benjamin 589 103 19 711

Aminah Saleem 256 49 10 315

Member At-large, territorial committee

Dwayne Benjamin 967 281 56 1,304

Alicia Barnes 760 200 40 1,000

May Adams-Cornwall 477 132 27 636

Sonia Boyce 326 87 19 432

Lauretta Petersen 333 77 16 426

Florine Audain-Hassell 314 87 17 418

District member, territorial committee

Riise Richards 1,127 299 54 1,480

Rudolph Krigger Jr. 1,076 271 60 1,407

Kenneth Christopher 607 154 28 789

Neta Christopher 283 73 17 373

Republican Party

Republican Party races

State chairman

Herbert Schoenbohm 9 4 13

John Canegata 8 4 12

Member At-large, territorial committee

April Newland 14 5 19

ICM Party

ICM Party races

Territorial committee

Kent Daniel 8 4 12

Ada Hodge 8 1 9

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