After receiving permission from the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections, Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. announced early Tuesday evening that polling places on St. Thomas would stay open until 10 p.m.
An extremely high voter turnout of as much as 60 percent of registered voters coupled with a lack of resources were given as the reasons for the decision.
The polls on St. Croix and St. John closed at 7 p.m.
The worst situation, according to media reports, occurred at the Joseph Gomez Elementary School where more than 9,000 people vote.
Abramson said that number was "entirely too large" for the venue. He projected that in the future, voters might have to travel a bit further to vote, but said "I think they would prefer that" to waiting in long lines.
Abramson said all polls on St. Thomas would be open until 10 p.m. and would accommodate anyone who is in line as of that hour. He said one reason for keeping the polls open late was concern that some voters may have left the polls earlier when faced with the long lines.
However, as of publication time at least one voter had been turned away from Charlotte Amalie High School. Media reports indicated the closing at that polling place was due to mechanical failure.
Abramson said he had earlier projected a 50 percent to 51 percent voter turnout but would predict the turnout to "be as high as 60 percent."
Deputy Elections Supervisor Natalie Thomas said that as of 3 p.m. 9,611 voters had "gone through the line" on St. Thomas.
Regarding the lack of resources, which resulted in fewer voting machines, Abramson said he could not run the election by using funds that don't exist.
"I will not put my signature on any document where I know we can't pay for it," he said. "It would be unconscionable."