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HomeNewsArchivesDays Could be Numbered for Voting at St. Gerard's Hall

Days Could be Numbered for Voting at St. Gerard's Hall

With an ever-shrinking number of voters and problems with accessibility, St. Gerard’s Hall in Frederiksted might leave the list of St. Croix polling places in future elections, according to members of the St. Croix Board of Elections. Gearing up for September primaries and the November general election, the board met Monday to discuss the nuts and bolts of planning the elections and ongoing community voter registration efforts.
After every election, representatives of the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix survey the polling places and report to the Elections Board, said St. Croix Deputy Election Supervisor Corrine Plaskett.
Although the hall has a ramp at its door, it has no ramps up the two curbs on the way to the door. This year, Elections will put in a temporary ramp or take some other measure to make the site more accessible, but Board Chairman Raymond Williams said the site did not really have enough voters to justify the expense of a separate location, with separate equipment, poll watchers and so forth.
Board members each had handouts with data on the number of voters registered and voting at each polling place. St. Gerard’s Hall had 380 voters in the 2008 general election and 403 in 2006.
"Even if you add that together with the 1,150 voters at Claude O. Markoe in 2006, you still have less than the average number of voters at the other polling places," Williams said.
The board agreed to take no action this election cycle, but to make a decision prior to the next.
"The reason we like using St. Gerard’s is really tradition and because it is in the town of Frederiksted," Williams said. But tradition is not a good enough reason to waste money and resources, he said.
In other business, the board discussed ongoing voter registration drives. The board and election system have been out registering voters in post offices, schools and in the community.
"The only school we haven’t hit is Kingshill High School," Plaskett said. Drives are planned at the University of the Virgin Islands and Hovensa in the early fall too.
Aug. 11 is the last day to register to vote in the Sept. 11 party primaries; and Oct. 2 is the last day to register for the Nov. 2 general election. On Oct. 2, the St. Croix Election Office will be holding a large registration drive and expo at its Sunny Isles offices.
"The expo is not just for registration," said board member Rupert Ross. "There will be updates, notices on any changes of polling places and everything else that needs to be done on the last day to clean up shop."
No votes were taken. Present were Williams, Ross, board members Carmen Golden, Lisa Moorhead, Ana Davila, Dodson James and Jacqueline Heyliger.
More information on registration and voting can be found at the V.I. Election System website: www.vivote.gov.

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