The Joint Boards of Elections met briefly Monday to address minor concerns about the conduct of the Aug. 6 party primary and the upcoming Nov. 8 general election, but a glitch affecting the videoconferencing between St. Thomas and St. Croix forced an early adjournment, according to Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes.
The two district boards have not yet certified the primary results, but as updates on counts of mail-in and provisional ballots have been released, the results have not changed significantly from the unofficial vote tallies the day of the primary. (See Related Links below)
The Joint Boards discussed a complaint letter from write-in candidate for senator at large Steven Payne, saying some votes for him were discounted, but should not have been, "but as a write in candidate, you cannot demand a recount," Fawkes said. She is drafting a letter to that effect for the candidate.
The board also discussed a lawsuit from the V.I. GOP and write-in GOP candidate to Congress Gordon Ackley, but there has been no ruling from the court yet, Fawkes said. Ackley and several other GOP candidates chosen by the VIGOP convention in June never filed nomination papers and petition signatures by the common May 17 deadline mandated in V.I. law, but are asking the court to require that they be on the ballot, as the official candidates chosen by the party’s convention.
They also discussed a letter from the V.I. Democratic Party asking Fawkes to determine if senatorial candidate Alicia "Chucky" Hansen is properly registered to vote and therefore if she is eligible to run. The letter [V.I. Democrats Letter on Hansen] says Hansen’s actual legal surname is Pickering, and questions her status as a voter and candidate under the name of Hansen.
Hansen has served many, often controversial, terms as a V.I. senator. She lost her seat in the 2014 election. A 2014 V.I. Supreme Court decision found her "ineligible to serve" because of misdemeanor convictions for willful failure to file an income tax return for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 tax years. Then-Gov. John deJongh Jr. issued her a pardon, but, running as a write-in candidate, she was not re-elected that year. Hansen also generated some controversy inside the territory and nationwide, in 2013, when she opposed a bill clarifying that spousal rape is illegal, saying she did not understand how a wife could be raped by a husband. She said in part that "if it is forcefully against the will of a spouse then that is a problem. But if a woman says no and he still wants something, I don’t know how you can call it rape. Maybe because I am not a ‘no’ person, I don’t know." (See Related Links below)
No votes were taken. The St. Croix Board of Elections is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning and may certify the primary count that day.