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Elections Board Waits on Final Numbers to Certify Primary

The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections has wrapped up counting all outstanding ballots, but more information, including final numbers from St. Croix, is needed before this month’s primary can be certified, according to officials.

Speaking to the Source Thursday, St. Thomas-St. John District Board chairman Arturo Watlington Jr. said the board had finished counting the remaining 1,007 absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots Wednesday night and while some of the numbers have changed, the winners so far remain the same.

What’s left now is for ES&S, the vendor the board bought its new machines from, to send images of the write-in ballots, which will be matched with names and tabulated so that a final report is generated for each write-in candidate.

“We need the names and that report in order to certify, and as of Wednesday night, we had not received that information from the contractor,” Watlington said. He added that St. Thomas-St. John’s count still has to be merged with the numbers from St. Croix, whose board is still going through the process of verifying voters for the last set of “questionable” ballots.

By law, Elections could not accept mail-in absentee ballots past Aug. 12, but still has until Sunday to certify the primary, Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes explained Thursday.

“We’re still collecting our data, and we will certainly let everyone know when the election is certified,” Fawkes added.

On St. Thomas-St. John, the race for the seventh top spot was locked up between Marvin Blyden, Sean Georges and Clarence Payne. According to the unofficial primary numbers, Blyden held the lead with 1,622 votes. The unofficial numbers also showed that Sen. Diane Capehart had come in seventh in the St. Croix Senate race, with newcomer Paul “Paulie” Arnold only slightly behind.

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