The St. Croix Board of Elections analyzed what went wrong and what went right in the recent primary election and what needs to be watched in the upcoming general election at its meeting Wednesday.
The board also discussed an exposition scheduled for Oct. 1 and what should be on the agenda for an October work session.
The issue receiving the most discussion was how election officials would deal with the new law banning electioneering within 200 feet of a polling station. There was disagreement over whether the law was complied with during the primary election.
Board member Barbara Jackson McIntosh said “there was compliance” where she was.
Board member Lisa Harris-Moorhead, however, said compliance was impossible where she was. “If they were 200 feet away, they would have been in the bush.”
Raymond Williams suggested that a representative from the V.I. Police Department should attend the upcoming work session to help plan strategies to enforce the ban. Other items that will be on the work session agenda include finalizing polling places for the general election, extended voter registration, and preparations for early voting.
Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes addressed criticism from board members at the August meeting that she did not attend. McIntosh had said she was unhappy with the way the supervisor’s report was presented with “no supporting documents.”
Fawkes said the format of her report was adopted from a Department of Education model, but that she would change the format if the board wanted it changed.
Board members had also made remarks about the supervisor not being on St. Croix when they needed her. Fawkes said she was “territorial supervisor” and there would be times when she had to be on St. Thomas.
Williams said that calls for point of order were being accepted too generally and should only be accepted when they refer to a specific agenda item. He said, “They should not be used to just talk nonsense.”
Board member Adelbert Bryan, who often calls point of order to inject himself into the process, did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
The board went into executive session for more than an hour to discuss legal matters. The board reported not taking any action in the session. However, Chairwoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal reported that another challenge to the candidacy of Alicia “Chucky” Hansen was discussed during the session. The challenge was from Peter Abraham.
Members of the board had two hours between the end of their meeting and their required attendance at a hearing in Superior Court. Hansen has appealed to the court to get her name back on the ballot. (See Related Links) The board had voted to remove Hansen from the ballot on Aug. 31 after receiving a challenge to her candidacy from Lauretta Petersen of the Democratic Party.
The Oct. 1 election expo is planned for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the Board of Elections Office in the Sunny Isle Annex.