St. Croix Board of Elections overruled Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes’ decision to keep former Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen on the ballot, stating the problem is that Alicia Hansen is not her legal name.
The name appearing on Hansen’s birth certificate is Alden Alicia Pickering. This came to the public’s attention in early July when she filed in Superior Court to have her name legally changed.
The board’s decision to have Hansen’s name removed from the ballot was arrived at after spirited discussion. At one point Adelbert Bryan called his colleagues “cowards.”
No board member expressed support for Hansen but members Barbara Jackson McIntosh and Raymond Williams indicated that they thought it would be wiser to turn the matter over to an investigative agency such as the Attorney General’s Office to determine if any fraud had been committed.
Williams said, “There are still some questions that need to be answered.”
Bryan argued that Fawkes’ ruling was “unofficial and erroneous.” He said the board was obligated to follow Virgin Islands law and then he cited laws he said supported the removal of Hansen’s name from the ballot.
A representative from Attorney General Claude Earl Walker’s office was expected at the meeting but no one from the office showed. Walker did send a letter to the Board of Elections that Bryan argued suggested they proceed. “He didn’t say put it off or send it to the AG’s Office.”
After voting to reverse Fawkes’ decision, the board voted to turn over all documents related to the case to the Attorney General’s Office. The discussion about the Hansen case was originally listed for a nonpublic executive session but the board decided to hold it in public.
Hansen had trouble with the board of elections and Superior Court in 2014 due to a conviction for failing to file taxes. She obtained a pardon from former Gov. John deJongh Jr., ran a write-in campaign, but failed to win enough votes.
Board members said at the meeting that her effort to change her name is still pending. The Democratic Party has questioned whether the name she has filed is, in fact, her legal name. Hansen has no party affiliation.
The board also had a lengthy discussion about Fawkes’ report to the board. Fawkes was not at the meeting but Genevieve Whitaker, Deputy Elections supervisor, read the report.
McIntosh said she was “totally unhappy” with the report mainly because it contained “no supporting documents.”
Bryan said the report raised many questions for which he needed answers.
Fawkes’ name also came up in the board’s discussion about the primary. (Her name came up so often that Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal, chairwoman, admonished members not to talk about her so much since she was not there.)
Board member Glenn Webster said that many voters were disenfranchised because Fawkes did not follow the board’s directive and have the ballots reprinted in the form the members deemed correct.