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Senator Sarauw Calls Out V.I. Elections Board Over Proposed Split Into Committees

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas freshman senator has called out the Virgin Islands Board of Elections for circumventing a law establishing newly-formed, territory-wide board.

The Board of Elections, led by self-described chairman Arturo Watlington Jr., voted Friday to split the board into committees over objections from minority board members.

“Why is the Board finding loopholes and splitting into District Committees? That defeats the intent of the bill,” Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, Independent–St. Thomas, said in a Facebook post. “We propose election reform and it is signed into law and the BOE still does as they please or they create other avenues to avoid following the
mandates set forth. This concerns me.”

The first meeting of the Board of Elections on June 24 was full of controversy after Democratic member Watlington, himself a former senator from St. Thomas, presided over the meeting in which he declared himself the board chairman through January 2019.

But perhaps the most controversial action was the decision to form a committee in each district to oversee August’s primary election.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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