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Voters Flock to Register for Democratic Primary as Deadline Looms

Elections officials reported heavy traffic in both districts Monday, as residents took advantage of extended hours to register to vote ahead of the August 4 primary.

Deputy Supervisor Terrell Alexandre said 29 people registered at the St. Croix office Monday, about three times as many as on an average day. And there were many more who stopped by to make changes to their registration; that might mean anything from an updating of their address to a change in party affiliation that would make them eligible to vote in the primary. She estimated about 100 in all visited the office.

On St. Thomas, about 60 people came to the Elections office Monday, said a staffer who declined to give her name. Of those, “probably 14” were new registrations.

As of June 18, there were 49,315 registered voters in the territory, according to the Elections website: 23,563 on St. Croix, 23,782 on St. Thomas, and 1,970 on St. John.

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Registration closes Thursday. Anyone who wants to vote in the primary must be registered as a Democrat by then. By law, no one may register less than 30 days before an election.

There will be another chance to get onto the voter rolls after the primary and before the Nov. 6 General Election.

Registration will be open from Aug. 9 to Oct. 7.

Because of the Thursday deadline, Elections offices in both districts were open over the weekend and will be open part of the day on this week’s two holidays. Hours Tuesday, Emancipation Day, are noon to 3 p.m. On Wednesday, Independence Day, they will be 9 a.m. to noon. Thursday the offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Alexandre said Elections officials have worked similar extended hours in past election years because the August primary makes the registration deadline fall during the holiday week.

As is usual, only the Democratic Party fielded enough candidates to require a primary; rarely have either of the other two recognized political parties in the territory, the Republican Party and the Independent Citizens Movement, had more members contending for an office than there were seats available.

Three gubernatorial hopefuls will be vying for the Democratic vote in the primary:

Angel E. Dawson Jr. and running mate Marise James
Albert Bryan and running mate Tregenza Roach and
Allison Petrus and running mate Sammuel Sanes

(All candidate listings are in order as they appear on sample ballots issued by Elections.)

Whichever team emerges victorious from the primary will face a field of five teams all running as “Independent” in the General Election: Janette Millin Young and Edgar Bengoa; Kennth E. Mapp and Osbert Potter; Adlah “Foncie” Donastorg and Alicia “Chucky” Hansen; Molto A. Smith Jr. and Hubert Frederick; and Soraya Diase Coffelt and Dwight Nicholson.

Primary voters will also choose the Democratic candidates for the Legislature.

For the St. Thomas-St. John District, they will select seven from a field of 14: Myron D. Jackson, Randolph Thomas, Albert F. Richardson, Randolph N. Bennett, Donna Frett Gregory, Stedmann Hodge, Jr., Jonathan P. Tucker Jr., Marvin A. Blyden, Sean “Skooly” Georges, Kent Bernier Sr., Beatrice Gumbs, Jean A. Forde, Athniel “Bobby” Thomas and Carla Joseph.

On St. Croix, 16 Democrats are running for seven seats: R. J. Hammer, Douglas Canton, Terrence D. Joseph, Oakland Benta, Novelle E. Francis, Jr.., Juan Figueroa-Seville, Neville James, Dean R. Andrews, Allison DeGazon, Karen Chancellor, Nemmy Williams-Jackson, Kenneth Kenny Gittens, Annette L.S. Scott, Alicia Barnes, Javan James, and Kurt Vialet.

Three Democrats are vying for the chance to get onto the General Election ballot as the party candidate for the Senator-at-Large seat: Brian A. Smith, Steven D. Payne Sr. and Stacie January.

Democrats voting in the primary will also elect party officers. To see the complete sample ballot for both districts, see Related Links, below.

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