Nov. 17, 2006 — With gubernatorial candidate John deJongh just two votes shy of getting the required majority needed to win the general election, Board of Elections members and staff in both districts are gearing up for a runoff on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
As stipulated in the V.I. Code, deJongh, in order to win outright, needed to pull in a majority of the votes cast throughout the territory — at least 50 percent plus one vote. However, on Election night, deJongh initially missed the mark by about 0.7 percent, pulling in 15,914 of the votes cast at polling stations on both districts (See "DeJongh Is Top Vote Getter in Governor's Race; Runoff With Mapp Likely").
Over the past week, Elections officials have been meeting regularly to count the provisional and absentee ballots, which would determine the final outcome of the election and possibly give deJongh the majority he needed.
Members of the St. Thomas-St. John District board sat down to tally the last set of mail-in absentee votes around 6 p.m. Friday evening. District board members on St. Croix began tallying the island's final absentee votes around 4:30 p.m.
In the St. Thomas-St. John district, deJongh received 44 out of a possible 71 absentee votes, while gubernatorial candidates Kenneth Mapp and Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg received 11 and nine votes respectively. On St. Croix, deJongh received four out of a possible seven absentee votes. Mapp received one vote, while Donastorg received two votes.
Unofficial numbers released at about 8 p.m. revealed that deJongh had garnered 16,988 out of the 33,978 cast in the General Election — putting him one vote short of the 50 percent mark and two votes short of the required 50-percent-plus-one-vote mark.
Based on Friday's count, Mapp pulled in 9,100 of the total votes cast (or 26.78 percent), while the team of Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Dr. Cora Christian received 7,871 votes, or 23.16 percent.
When contacted Friday, Mapp said he and running mate Almando "Rocky" Liburd are "continuing to work hard" and are preparing for Tuesday's runoff.
"The campaign is down to the two of us, and we're continuing to have some good discussions. We're making sure we go out to the different events, and we're continuing to lead on our respective islands," Mapp said. "We're confident and excited, and looking forward to achieving victory on Tuesday."
According to Elections officials, all polls will be open during the runoff from 7 a.m. until 7 pm.
The runoff will cost the V.I. government approximately $200,000.
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