Nov. 8, 2002 – A St. Croix senatorial candidate and the president of the Crucian Coalition are calling upon several national and international election watchdog groups to investigate this week's general election in the Virgin Islands.
Hope Gibson and Juliete Liburd issued a release Friday afternoon saying they suspect "foul play" in the election process.
Gibson said she has asked the Carter Center, the National Democratic Institute, the Federal Election Commission, the United Nations Electoral Systems Bureau and the FBI to do "outside investigations into the possibility of wrongdoing," adding that she and Liburd, "would feel more comfortable having the questions answered from official outside sources."
As support for their assertion of questionable election results, Gibson and Liburd pointed to identical percentages in the voting differences between incumbent Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and his closest challenger, John de Jongh Jr. in both districts. However, upon analysis, the argument made by the two is not completely clear in terms of what the numbers mean.
The made their argument by saying "a 7.39 percent voting difference between Turnbull and de Jongh on St. Thomas/St. John and an identical 7.39 percent voting difference on St. Croix was highly unlikely to occur randomly."
One analyst said the way the numbers were calculated, they always equal the same percentage. Gibson could not be reached as of publication Friday night for clarification.
Nevertheless, talk shows on St. Croix have been inundated since Wednesday with callers questioning the validity of the posted election returns. And the disparity in the numbers has been widely questioned throughout the territory.
With eight candidates running, political analysts projected and the findings of various public opinion polls indicated that there would be a runoff in the race for governor. Few observers foresaw the wide margin between Turnbull and de Jongh or the minuscule returns for the other gubernatorial candidates.
John Abramson, elections supervisor, could not be reached Friday night for comment.
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