After being delayed multiple times, early voting began on Wednesday and, according to Election System Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, the process was successful, with well over 300 residents territory-wide casting their ballots for their candidates of choice ahead of the August 4 Democratic primary.
“The first day of early voting saw an overwhelming support of voters eager to cast their ballots,” Mrs. Fawkes said in a release issued late Tuesday.
A day before, however, Wednesday’s start of early voting appeared to be in jeopardy when a malfunction in the voting machines were discovered: at the time, the machines were not informing voters whether they had selected less the minimum number of candidates on a ballot. While voters are allowed to vote for any number of candidates they choose, the system is supposed to inform them that they could vote for more candidates.
The glitch was found to be in the race for Senate category, which includes well over 30 Democrats vying for a seat territory-wide. (There are six seats open in this year’s Senate race — the two in St. Thomas being Janette Milling Young, who is running for governor as an independent candidate, and Tregenza Roach, who is running as a lieutenant governor candidate with Albert Bryan. On St. Croix, the four open seats are those of Sammuel Sanes, Positive Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly and Alicia Hansen.)
The glitch was fixed late Tuesday by Elections System and Software, the company that has for years worked with the Election System of the Virgin Islands.
The breakdown of early voting, according to the Election System, saw 200 participants in St. Thomas, 131 in St. Croix, and 6 in St. John, for a total of 336. Mrs. Fawkes said she expects early voting numbers to rise significantly in the coming days.
Early voting will end on July 25 and is taking place at the following locations: