Joint Elections Board Tells Parties: You Will Be Running Your Own Primaries

The V.I. Joint Boards of Elections on Thursday officially notified the Democratic Party, Republican Party and Independent Citizens Movement Party that it definitely will not be conducting party primaries for them this year, but will help them with their process.

It sent the three letters, with nearly identical wording, signed by Joint Boards Chairman Arturo Watlington, giving them the notice. [Elections Letter to Democrats]

The boards have been consistent this election cycle in saying they will not conduct the primaries.

In 2012, the Senate voted to give the political parties until January 2014 to get organized, and passed legislation saying the parties would be responsible for the primaries after then. But in 2014,both districts relented and ran primaries.

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The change is not popular with any of the political parties, with partisans arguing that they lack the resources to carry out a large election and any internal party process will end up restricting voting to a small number of party activists instead of the broader public. (See Related Links below)

The law was changed to simplify elections and save taxpayer dollars, instead of spending them on elections for parties that are private entities.

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