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SCHANFARBER: Meeting Tried To Recreate Separate Election Districts, By Calling Them ‘Committees’

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — V.I. Board of Elections member Robert “Max” Schanfarber, R-Thomas, sent the following correspondence to fellow members and Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes in response to the creation of district committees under the Board of Elections at today’s meeting:

“Upon examination, I want to clarify that I am opposed to the creation of district committees under the Board of Elections in each district to conduct, oversee, administer, or otherwise regulate, in any way, shape or form, elections within a district.

“I did not fully understand what was being proposed at the time of the meeting earlier today, as it was not on the agenda.

“I believe this puts the Board of Elections into potential conflict with the intent of the legislation establishing the present unified, territory-wide board as it and it alone is to conduct, oversee, administer, or otherwise regulate, in any way, shape or form, elections across the territory, irrespective of district. Should there be the need for district-specific training, it is my opinion and belief that the Supervisor of Elections and/or her designee is entitled to do this at a staff level.

“Accordingly, I am opposed to what was passed and ask for its immediate reconsideration at the next meeting of the board.

“I also request that the Supervisor of Elections and/or her designee identify all actions (votes, motions, resolutions, policies, procedures, rules, regulations and the like) adopted, promulgated, passed or otherwise enacted by the now-dissolved district and joint boards of election between August 1, 2017, and the Supreme Court’s ruling so that this Board of Elections may affirmatively address each and every one of those actions, including the budget and all human resources/personnel matters, in accordance with court orders and the binding legal opinion of the Attorney General.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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