ELECTIONS BOARD SNAFU SPARKS DEBATE

Virgin Islands law met the will of the people head on in November's election and the law won. The V.I. Attorney General's Office on Friday announced the winners for two disputed Board of Elections seats. George Blackhall, who finished fourth, and Yvonne Tharpes, who received six write-in votes, were both seated — Blackhall because he is a Republican and Tharpes because she is a St. John resident. The V.I. Code states that no more than four people from the same political party may serve on the Board of Elections. It also requires that two residents from St. John be on the board. If the top three vote-getters had been seated, the board would have had five Democrats. No one was on the ballot from St. John, leaving Tharpes the legal winner. Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. said this is one area of the law that the Legislature needs to review and change. Others suggested the snafu was due to Abramson and the Board of Elections failing to spot the problem and properly notify the candidates. "They allowed three of us (Democrats) to get on the ballot from St. Thomas; all three went through the primary," said Democrat Gaylord Sprauve, who with more than 5,000 votes lost his bid over the AG's ruling. Sprauve and Blackhall said the problem should have been ironed out during the primary election. In a phone call to WVWI, Sprauve said he sought a seat on the Board of Elections due to his longstanding belief in the need for election reform and this is just one issue that needs to be addressed.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Support the VI Source

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall - we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. Our sites are more popular than ever, but advertising revenues are falling - so you can see why we could use your help. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. If everybody who appreciates our reporting efforts were to help fund it for as little as $1, our future would be much more secure. Thanks in advance for your support!