Anticipating more transparency from Elections boards
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On January 11, both Virgin Islands Districts' Boards of Elections had swearing in ceremonies. The St. Thomas-St. John District swore in members Alecia Wells, Arturo Watlington Jr., Lydia Hendricks and myself to the St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections. The St. Thomas-St. John Board met, and elected board members Watlington as chair, Harry Daniel as vice chair and Wells as secretary.
The St. Croix District Board swore in members Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal, Roland Moolenaar, Glenn Webster and Lisa Harris Moorhead to the St. Croix District Board of Elections and elected members Adelbert Bryan as chair, Belardo de O'Neal as vice chair, and Webster as secretary.
Both districts now have leaders in place, and the Joint Boards of Elections will meet before February 15 to elect new leadership at the joint board level.
With this new leadership in place we can both expect and see change. Via this new leadership, the public expects to receive more information from the joint board and district boards. The press and the average citizen, I believe, will see more transparent boards. These boards will assist the public in the various questions that will arise.
One of my major expectations is that the new leadership team in both districts and the joint boards this term will find enough information from the Evaluation Reform Committee to have new voting machines in 2014.
I also hope that individuals who have problems with the district boards will inform those boards prior to elections to avoid court battles after elections are held. I further hope the boards will be more open to questions; and offer answers to legitimate concerns in a timely manner. It is my opinion that when this does not happen and the boards are challenged by the citizens who want to be attorneys, we risk misinformation being circulated.
While the 2012 election cycle is gone and mistakes were made, I see both districts and the joint boards correcting the mistakes made in the past and moving us forward in continuing to hold fair elections in the territory.
Each of us knows that both the election system and the boards are normally ignored until next year's primary and general election. Therefore, I ask that you stay observant and involved and contact board members if you have any problems, suggestions, or comments to improve our service to you the citizen.
As a reminder, the St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Election and Election System now are now located in Lockart Gardens above Banco Popular and will be open on January 28. That office numbers is 774-3107.
- Lawrence Boschulte is a member of the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections.