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Elections Office All Set for Constitutional Convention Delegates Vote

May 16, 2007 — Elections Supervisor John Abramson said Wednesday that he and his staff are ready for the territory's special election next month to vote for delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
Abramson's announcement came at a meeting of the Board of Elections Wednesday, the same day as the deadline for residents in the St. Croix district to turn in nomination papers.
During Wednesday's meeting, board members passed a motion to have two polling places at each polling site, according to Abramson. A polling site — Alexander Henderson Elementary School, for example — can have various classrooms referred to as a "polling place," where residents can vote on June 12, he explained.
The June election, a V.I. holiday, will be the fifth time that residents have attempted to adopt a constitution to replace the Revised Organic Act of 1954, which governs the territory.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Abramson said, more than 50 nomination papers were turned in to the Elections Office on St. Croix. He did not immediately know the number of nomination papers turned in at the St. Thomas-St. John Elections Office.
More than 60 nomination papers were picked up on St. Croix: 50 on St. Thomas and seven on St. John, Abramson said last week. Those figures did not include nomination papers for territorial seats.
Once elected, delegates will convene at 10 a.m. on July 23 at the Legislature on St. Thomas. Following an administration of oath of office by Presiding Superior Court Judge Darryl D. Donohue, the delegates will organize the convention.
The delegates must first elect a convention president, vice president, secretary and other appropriate officers. The group will have until July 27, 2008, to adopt a constitution by a yes vote of at least 27 delegates. The president of the convention will then submit the document to Gov. John deJongh Jr., who has 10 days to submit the proposed constitution to the U.S. president. The president must submit the proposal to Congress within 60 days, and members have 60 legislative days to review the proposed constitution before V.I. voters have the chance to approve it on a date that will be determined during the Constitutional Convention.
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