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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


Nov. 7 is not far off. The biennial election process officially began Sunday, July 9. Whatever twists and turns lie ahead on the road to the general elections, it is time for the electorate to begin paying attention to the incumbents and their challengers who are running for elective office. Here is a rundown of the deadlines set by law — and who's taken out petitions to run for the Senate so far.
July 9 was the first day to start circulating the mandatory nomination petitions. Each candidate for elective office registered with one of the territory's three political parties and running under that party's banner — Democratic, Republican or Independent Citizens Movement — must submit a petition signed by 25 registered members of that party to the Office of Elections in order to have his or her name placed on the party's primary ballot — assuming there are more candidates than seats to be filled.
Independents must file petitions signed by any 50 registered voters, although they will not run in a primary election.
Signatures must be collected within 30 days of the filing of a petition with the supervisor of elections, John Abramson Jr.
Aug. 1 is the first day to file petitions. Aug. 8 is the last. After that, the supervisor of elections or his deputy will challenge any signatures that appear suspect.
Abramson told the Source that this year he hopes to see a sincere public assessment of the those serving in the Senate. "We need to design a system that will make our elected officials accountable," he said, adding that there is no "divine intervention of knowledge" when a candidate is elected to office.
In Abramson's view, the road to success for a senator will start when he or she is willing to admit to not being the expert on a particular topic.
On Sept. 9 the party primary elections will be held in all cases where there are more candidates of a given party than seats. Each district has seven seats in the Legislature, and voting is by district. The seven candidates getting the most votes in the primary will go on the general election ballot for that party.
On Oct. 16 the Office of Elections will announce the official slate of candidates for the general elections, which will be held Nov. 7.
In order to vote in the Virgin Islands, a person must be a registered voter. In order to register to vote, an individual must present proof of U.S. citizenship, be at least 18 years of age and have resided in the territory for at least 90 days. The Office of Elections will accept new voter registrations through Aug. 10 for the November elections.
So far, for the St. Thomas-St. John district, the following persons or their agents have picked up petitions to run for a seat in the 24th Legislature:
Lorraine L. Berry, Donald "Ducks" Cole, Roosevelt David, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg Jr., Carlton Dowe, Gilmore Estrill, Jean A. Forde, Stephen Frett, Judy M. Gomez, George Goodwin, Justin Harrigan Sr., Franke Hoheb, Herbert Lockhart, Dean Luke, Tyrone Martin, Vinrod Mohanani, Wilma M. Monsanto, Michael Paiewonsky and Celestino A. White.
On St. Croix, petitions have been picked up by or for George Alexander, Elroi E. Baumann, Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal, Gregory A Bennerson, Manuel Crooke, Ophelian Williams Felix, V. Anne Golden, Malcolm Harris, Evelyn M. James, Valencio Jackson, Allen Johnson, Jerome Jones, David S. Jones, Noel Loftus, Hector M. Maldonado, Altagracia Monsanto, Luther F. Renee, Carmelo Rivera, Luis A. Rodriguez and Ronald Russell.
The only person to pick up a petition for the senator-at-large slot so far is Almando "Rocky" Liburd.

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