The gubernatorial run-off between Kenneth Mapp and Donna Christensen is now official as Board of Elections members met Saturday afternoon and certified results of the general election, held Nov. 4.
The St. Croix Board of Elections certified St. Croix results after 6 p.m. Saturday. The winners remained the same as the unofficial leaders on election night.
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen, who ran a strong write-in campaign after being removed from the ballot by court order, received 2,089 write-in votes – well below seventh-place St. Croix Sen. Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O’Reilly, who received 4,313 votes.
Hansen is asking for a hand-recount, though she would need to double the votes she received and surpass five other candidates to retain her seat.
In the gubernatorial race, Mapp won handily on St. Croix, capturing 7,255 votes to Christensen’s 4,330. The overall numbers show Mapp with a 12,108 votes territorywide, a little more than 46 percent, while Christensen garnered 10,173 votes, or approximately 39 percent.
St. Croix Board of Elections members Rupert Ross, Raymond Williams, Lisa Harris and Roland Moolenaar signed the certification on St. Croix , after which, Ross, Williams and Harris left. There was a short board meeting to discuss the certification, but it had no quorum and as a result, it was not formally convened and no votes were taken.
The St. Thomas-St. John District Board looked to meet early Saturday, around 2 p.m., but ended up working until after 6 p.m., with members Harry Daniel, Claudette Georges, Lydia Hendricks, Arturo Watlington Jr. and Alecia Wells in attendance.
In the St. Thomas-St. John Senate race, the battle for the seventh slot officially went to newcomer Justin Harrigan Sr., who pulled in 5,228 votes over Sen. Donald “Ducks” Cole, who received 5,139 votes.
Finishing in the sixth through first positions were: Sen. Janette Millin-Young, in sixth place with 5,369 votes; Jean Forde, fifth with 5,702 votes; Sen. Tregenza Roach, fourth with 5,743 votes; Sen. Clifford Graham, third with 6,196 votes; Sen. Myron Jackson, second with with 6,248 votes; and Marvin Blyden, the highest vote-getter on St. Thomas-St. John with 6,394 votes.
During Saturday’s meeting, the district board also voted to use Guy Benjamin School as one of the polling places for Tuesday’s run-off. They previously had considered closing it, but the decision was contested by Christensen. Saturday, board member Daniel also said closing the poll could disenfranchise St. John voters.
The decision to close the poll was based on numbers and was not meant to be discriminatory, Watlington said. Board members had decided it would not be economical or efficient to put a machine built to handle between 1,000 and 1,500 votes at the school, which typically sees 115 votes cast.
Board members voted Saturday to reconsider their decision and keep the poll open; the motion was amended by Wells, who added that Daniel would be responsible for making sure Guy Benjamin was fully operational on Tuesday.
The St. Thomas-St. John board also discussed keeping Election System offices on St. Thomas open Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m to noon for voters tocast absentee ballots if they are unable vote on Tuesday. St. John’s office will be open on the same days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Watlington said V.I. law allows early voting for 14 consecutive days before a given election.
“But because there are not 14 days between the general election and the run-off, the early voting law has no effect,” he explained. “However, the supervisor has put in place some procedures to accommodate all people in emergency situations that cannot appear at the polls on Tuesday.”
As a final order of business, the board decided to allow residents who registered to vote last week (between Monday and Wednesday) to vote by provisional ballots at the polls. If the board finds them ineligible, they can be challenged, according to Hendricks. Watlington explained earlier in the meeting that the Joint Board recently decided not to allow those individuals to vote – a decision he said Attorney General Vincent Frazer recently said “has no legal merit, is unlawful and should not be carried out.”
Final elections results, released Saturday by the Elections System, can be seen at the following links: