The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections is counting absentee ballots in the wake of Tuesday’s general election, and as of Saturday there had been no change in the unofficial results.
Only the last spot in the district’s Senate race was up in the air, but District Board chair Arturo Watlington Jr. said Saturday that the absentee ballots have only helped widen the lead for former District Police Chief Dwayne DeGraff, who has been battling it out with fellow newcomer Janelle Sarauw for the seventh slot.
Watlington said the District Board has gone through almost all of the 353 absentee ballots it has on hand, 199 of which were counted on Thursday night, while the remainder were counted Friday. After Thursday, DeGraff had widened his lead with an extra 74 votes, while Sarauw added 54.
According to Elections System officials, the deadline for returning absentee ballots is Nov. 18 and Watlington said Saturday that the board hopes to certify on the St. Thomas-St. John side by Nov.19. Meanwhile, all early voting ballots have already been counted, along with all votes cast on election day, he said.
No date has yet been set for counting on St. Croix, but Elections officials said that only a little more than 200 ballots are on hand on that side, while provisional ballots will be reviewed next week.