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Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Elections Board Says It Will Investigate Candidate Complaints

The Monday meeting of the Board of Elections was put on hold after members heard a series of complaints and accusations by and against candidates running for public office in 2022. Officials on the board formed a three-member team to investigate those complaints.

Members Lisa Harris-Moorehead, Alecia Wells, and Angeli Leerdam said they would report their findings to the full board when the Monday session reconvenes on Wednesday. Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes presented correspondence at the meeting from candidates Genevieve Whitaker and the gubernatorial team of Kent Bernier and Oakland Benta and from Linford Warner, who described himself as a concerned citizen.

Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes (File ohoto from V.I. Legislature)
During Monday’s elections board meeting, Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes shared correspondence that sparked an investigation (Source file photo)

In her letter, Whitaker said she was being threatened and harassed and had filed a police report. Bernier and Benta accused members of the local Democratic Party of endorsing the incumbent governor, Albert Bryan Jr., and by doing so, passively opposing other Democratic hopefuls.

“Genevieve said somebody’s going on the radio, slandering her name and telling people not to vote for her,” Fawkes said. Whitaker also said in her letter that a threat had been made against her life.

Warner wrote to the board to challenge Senator-At-Large candidate Angel Bolques Jr. In the correspondence to the board, Warner said Bolques is living on St. Thomas instead of St. John, where Senator-At-Large candidates have traditionally lived.

When the board reconvenes on Wednesday, the elections supervisor said the investigative team will share the information they’ve gathered in executive session. The meeting is then expected to return to open session where the public can participate.

Elections board meetings have been conducted virtually and are likely to resume to that format when they resume on Wednesday.

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