St Croix residents took advantage of a mid-morning break in Tropical Storm Bertha’s rain and wind to cast their votes in Saturday’s primary election.
At about 9 a.m. it looked like a normal election day, as voters streamed into Pearl B. Larsen and Juanita Gardine elementary schools. Hats and rainy ponchos were the outerwear of choice for supporters who stood at the entrances promoting their candidates.
When gusts of wind-blown rain did come, supporters were seen holding their placards over their heads for protection from the elements instead of waving them at the entering voters.
Eurece Hendricks, the elections polling judge at Pearl B. Larsen, said things were off to a slow start, but hoped later, after the storm passes, more will come out.
All of the people scheduled to work the polls Saturday morning showed up, she added.
Senate candidate Kurt Vialet said it was a little difficult getting his supporters to the polls, but they were coming out. One of the tents for his supporters at St, Croix Educational Complex had blown down, he added, but they managed to get it back up.
Other than that things were going well for him, he said.
At at Juanita Gardine, Llanval Crooke said it was very important to get out and vote, even in bad weather.
"It’s more important this trip around to vote because of the state of affairs in the Virgin Islands," he said. "I have to vote and get rid of the status quo and make changes."
Sen Sammuel Sanes said things were going great even though his supporters got a late start.
"Even in this weather, it’s good to see people out exercising their right to vote," Sanes said.
Lornette Rogers, standing on the roadside at Larsen and holding a sign supporting Sen. Shawn Micheal Malone for delegate, said she came to support him to make sure he gets elected.
"Sen. Malone needs people behind him with support," she said.
Caresse Carrion agreed, saying, "I believe he’s the right person for congress."
By 11 a.m. outside Pearl B. Larsen, supporters of the various candidates had dissolved as the weather worsened, but at Juanita Gardine, a handful of hardcore holdouts continued to wave their placards in the wind and the rain.
The polls will be open until 7 p.m. as scheduled.