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Sunday, February 5, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesMany Questions Remain About St. John Representation

Many Questions Remain About St. John Representation

Dear Source:
I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Barshinger's conclusion that Mr. Harry Daniel was unduly denied his right to represent the people of the St. Thomas/St. John District and that the voters of that district were denied having Mr. Daniel represent them.
While it is unfortunate that the Constitutional process has been delayed, the rights of voters must be the dominant factor here. Mr. Daniel received more votes than other candidates from the St Thomas/St John District. It is clear then, that there is no separation of districts. St. Thomas and St John, for the purposes of voting are one and the same.
The enabling law was very clear in that it says "no fewer than two delegates shall be from St John." The St Thomas/St John elections board chose, on its own, to create two separate voting districts and inform voters that they only could vote for two delegates from St John and eleven from St Thomas. This is clearly wrong since the law allows more than two delegates from St John.
I was an unsuccessful candidate from St John and I agree with Mr. Fielding that we were disenfranchised because it was entirely possible that when voters attempted to push more than two buttons in the voting booth, they were denied the ability vote for more than two person from St John because the voting machine was set up to disallow it. The fact that I received a substantial number of St Thomas votes means that persons on St Thomas wished to have me as a delegate. It is disheartening to know that voters were denied the ability to vote for me, or for that matter, all five St John candidates if they chose to.
There are several questionable practices on the part of the St Thomas/St John elections Board that must be pointed out: 1. When the lots were dawn on May 22, did the Board intentionally separate the candidates into two districts? 2. Why did the Board not allow voters to vote for more than two St John candidates? 3. The original ballot was different from the one presented to the voters and it is clear that the voting machines were deliberately programmed to disallow more that two St John votes. 4. The Board clearly read the enabling legislation wrong and, on there own volition, wrote a ballot that was illegal as to the spirit and intent of the law. 5. All the delegate candidates were not aware of the changes to the ballot until near election day, which gave them little chance to comment on it.
I stand firmly on Mr. Daniel's side on this issue. He had the courage to test the system and he must be admired for it. When you're right, you're right.
Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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