Elections Board Backs Decision to Disqualify Nelson’s Candidacy

Sen. Positive Nelson (Photo by Barry Leerdam, provided by the V.I. Legislature)
Sen. Positive Nelson (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

The V.I. Board of Elections on Monday voted 9-2 to disqualify the gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Positive Nelson and his running mate, Gary Udhwani. The vote denied granting the restoration of their petition of candidacy.

During the Board of Elections meeting at the JFL Cardiac Center, Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes stood by her position that Nelson should be disqualified.

“I am happy that the Board supported me,” she said after the vote.

Fawkes’ decision June 5 disqualified Nelson and Udhwani from the gubernatorial race. According to Udhwami , he was a registered voter in 1995, but records show he has not voted in two consecutive elections since 2000 and had been removed from the voting rolls.

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Elections Chair Arturo Watlington, Jr. said the whole process was inconsistent with the law.

“The candidates’ actions might not be willful, but the affidavit of the circulator is totally inconsistent with the affidavit of candidacy,” said Watlington.

Udhwani was circulating petitions for signatures minutes before he was legally registered as an elector on May 8, rendering the signatures invalid, the board concurred.

Nelson will meet with Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks at 10 a.m. Aug. 3 to determine whether to seek judicial relief.

Voting Monday to disqualify Nelson from the ballot, were Barbara Jackson McIntosh, Adelbert “Bert” M. Bryan, Raymond J. Williams, Ephiphane Joseph, Arturo Watlington, Jr., Esq., Lydia Hendriks, Carla Joseph, Alecia M. Wells, Maurice A. Donovan, Jr., Robert Max Schanfarber and Harriet Mercer. Voting in favor of allowing Nelson on the ballot, were Lisa Harris Moorhead and Glenn Webster.

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