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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 23, 2024


The territory's supervisor of elections announced Monday there will be no charge to political parties for this year's Sept. 9 primary to select party officers.
Supervisor John Abramson Jr. Abramson said the election board reversed its earlier stand to "allay the confusion and chaos created by the inadequate handling of the July 1998 election reform passed by the Legislature." He said the board decided "not to disenfranchise anybody."
Abramson had announced earlier in July that the election system would charge political parties to hold primary elections.
At the time he said the Democratic Party's primary would cost about $160,000, which would cover rentals, salaries of elections officials, food and operation of voting machines. The Republican Party had a plan costing much less, he said, that would not use the Election Board facilities.
He said the money would come out of the parties' pockets because of legislation passed in 1998 allowing parties to come up with their own methods of choosing party officers, with the Election Board's approval.
Traditionally the board was responsible for all elections until the law was changed in 1998.
Abramson also said Monday that all parties should have had their election process in order and should have notified him in writing by now, which none have done.
He said he has sent letters informing all parties of the Election Board's reversal and asked them to reply in writing by Aug. 8 advising him of their plans.
Asked about the penalty should a party miss that date, Abramson said, "The penalty is their names won't appear on a ballot."
For further information, contact the Election Systems Office at (340) 774-3107 in St. Thomas, or 773-1021 in St. Croix.

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