St. Thomas- St. John Democratic Senate results Harrigan edges out Forde in Senate race
Published: September 12, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - After walk-in absentee ballots and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday, Justin Harrigan Sr. has bumped Jean Forde out of seventh place in the Democratic primary.
The two St. Thomas-St. John District Senate candidates are separated only by four votes, and not all the counting is complete.
Still left to count are the absentee ballots that were mailed out.
Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. said 113 ballots were mailed out before the election for the St. Thomas-St. John District.
Under the V.I. Code, mailed absentee ballots have 10 days after the election to be returned to the Elections System and be counted. Typically, not all the ballots mailed out are returned, but it is impossible to predict how many will come back to be counted.
Additionally, the Boards of Elections in each district have until 10 days after the election to certify the final election results.
St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections member Lorna Thomas said the Elections staff will wait at the post office until 5 p.m. Tuesday to ensure that all absentee ballots have been received, then the board will count the last few ballots and certify the election.
Forde, Harrigan and sixth-place winner Donald Cole stayed at the Elections office to witness the count Tuesday and try to keep score.
"It is very interesting to see the fluctuation in the leads," Harrigan said. "We're all sitting there, Mr. Forde is there, Mr. Cole is there, and we're all making notes to see who will beat the other one. But there's a sense of camaraderie, there's no animosity."
Forde said the process has highlighted the territory's need for real election reform and a better system.
"It puts both Justin and myself at a disadvantage. We've had to place our campaigns on hold," Forde said.
In order to meet the strict deadlines mandated by a new federal consent decree, Abramson held the casting of lots Monday for ballot positions in the general election, even though the election remained in question.
At the time of the casting of lots, Forde was in seventh place, so he pulled a number Monday. According to Abramson, if Forde is knocked out by another candidate, that candidate will inherit Forde's ballot position.
For now, Forde and Harrigan will be on pins and needles waiting for the final count to determine who moves on to run in the General Election.
"We all have to wait until the last ballot is counted," Harrigan said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.â Clifford Graham 2,693
â Shawn-Michael Malone 2,140
â Myron Jackson 2,117
â Clarence Payne 1,951
â Janette Millin Young 1,932
â Donald Cole 1,483
â Justin Harrigan Sr. 1,453
Jean Forde 1,449
Patrick Simeon Sprauve 1,376
Franke Hoheb 1,328
Stedmann Hodge Jr. 1,182
Riise Smith-Richards 928
Matthew Hodge 613
Claudette Georges 542
Luis Morales 478
Christina Lee 367
Moses Carty 270
Gregory Miller 264
Sean Magras 174
Gilmore Estrill 126
The unofficial results are after all walk-in absentee ballots were counted Tuesday. Mail-in absentee ballots still need to be counted.