St. Croix Elections Members Boycott Joint Board Meeting, Say Districts Should ‘Rotate’ Locations

A Joint Board of Elections meeting held on St. Thomas Friday only produced less than an hour of informal discussion after St. Croix District members decided not to show up.

St. Croix met as a district board on Wednesday and at least three members voted to boycott Friday’s Joint Board meeting based on what some said was “unfair treatment.” St. Croix board members complained that the last several Joint Board of Elections meetings have taken place on St. Thomas, when they should alternate between the two islands. The St. Croix board has depleted its budget having to travel more frequently, according to the district’s board members.

Speaking Friday, St. Thomas-St. John District Board Chairman Arturo Watlington Jr. said that Elections officials were able to contact some St. Croix members over the last two days, and while at least one expressed “interest” coming, she was unable to do so because the St. Croix board had already voted not to use any more of its budget to travel over for Friday’s meeting.

Watlington said without a quorum, nothing could be voted on, but that the St. Thomas-St. John District Board should still take the time to discuss issues affecting the system and its funding through the end of the year.

“If we don’t move forward, we’re going to continue to be backward,” Watlington said.

While Watlington officially adjourned the meeting, St. Thomas-St. John members still discussed:

— having the board visiting a proposed office site on St. John,

— scheduling “express voting” machine trainings on all three islands and having a representative from Election Systems and Software (the system’s provider of voting machines) conduct public displays and demonstrations of the machines, and

— scheduling three town hall meetings to discuss voter concerns.

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