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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesELECTION CHAOS DEMANDS DISTRICTING

ELECTION CHAOS DEMANDS DISTRICTING

After the chaos of this election, especially at Gomez School, there should be little doubt of the need for districting. The electorate overwhelmingly endorsed a downsizing of the Legislature from 15 members to 9. This will require a major reorganization with several possible consequences.
One major change could be the change from an at-large candidate resident on St. John, to a full-time St. John representative. St. John is a unique island with unique problems and demands a full time legislative representative. To make the St. John representative campaign throughout the territory and spend tens of thousands of dollars traveling to and staying on St. Croix plus additional dollars operating an office on that island is an insult to St. John residents and Virgin Islands' taxpayers. To make St. Thomas legislative aspirants leave that island to campaign on St. John denigrates their ability to work with the voters they propose to represent. St. John residents deserve a full-time, dedicated representative to our legislature.
According to the referendum question, some 17,070 people voted in the Virgin Islands on this universal issue. The candidate with the most votes on St. Croix received some 5,851 votes. The candidate with the most votes on St. Thomas received some 7,500 votes and the seventh place finisher received some 5,000 votes. According to the V.I. Daily News, Gomez School was expected to service some 10,000 voters. Given these facts, one can clearly see that the voters in the Gomez district – Old Tutu, New Tutu, and Hidden Valley – hold the key to Virgin Islands Government on St. Thomas. This one group of relatively homogenous people can elect all the legislators to represent the island and, therefore, demand all the legislative privileges for that unique area. Districting would give the Gomez District one legislator who would be elected solely by the Gomez voters and work in the legislature for the Gomez District.
Now the West End, Charlotte Amalie and East End could each have their own legislator. The various candidates would only campaign in their district among their neighbors. Instead of attempting to provide all islanders with something to remember them by and earn their vote, the candidate could concentrate on coming up with opportunities and solutions to problems in their specific district.
The difference in voting would be marked. For openers, only St. Johnians would vote for the St. John legislator and they would only vote for that one legislative position. Instead of attempting to give up to seven votes to some twenty to thirty candidates, all voters would vote once for one of the candidates resident in their district and running to represent their district. Given this scenario, St. Thomas voters would have voted for the referendum, congressional delegate, Board of Education, Board of Elections, and one legislator. Booth time would be greatly diminished.
I really envy the new legislature. They have the exciting privilege to design a new legislative system that can solve many of our identified problems, and provide the electorate with new and challenging opportunities to influence the laws of our community.

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After the chaos of this election, especially at Gomez School, there should be little doubt of the need for districting. The electorate overwhelmingly endorsed a downsizing of the Legislature from 15 members to 9. This will require a major reorganization with several possible consequences.
One major change could be the change from an at-large candidate resident on St. John, to a full-time St. John representative. St. John is a unique island with unique problems and demands a full time legislative representative. To make the St. John representative campaign throughout the territory and spend tens of thousands of dollars traveling to and staying on St. Croix plus additional dollars operating an office on that island is an insult to St. John residents and Virgin Islands' taxpayers. To make St. Thomas legislative aspirants leave that island to campaign on St. John denigrates their ability to work with the voters they propose to represent. St. John residents deserve a full-time, dedicated representative to our legislature.
According to the referendum question, some 17,070 people voted in the Virgin Islands on this universal issue. The candidate with the most votes on St. Croix received some 5,851 votes. The candidate with the most votes on St. Thomas received some 7,500 votes and the seventh place finisher received some 5,000 votes. According to the V.I. Daily News, Gomez School was expected to service some 10,000 voters. Given these facts, one can clearly see that the voters in the Gomez district - Old Tutu, New Tutu, and Hidden Valley - hold the key to Virgin Islands Government on St. Thomas. This one group of relatively homogenous people can elect all the legislators to represent the island and, therefore, demand all the legislative privileges for that unique area. Districting would give the Gomez District one legislator who would be elected solely by the Gomez voters and work in the legislature for the Gomez District.
Now the West End, Charlotte Amalie and East End could each have their own legislator. The various candidates would only campaign in their district among their neighbors. Instead of attempting to provide all islanders with something to remember them by and earn their vote, the candidate could concentrate on coming up with opportunities and solutions to problems in their specific district.
The difference in voting would be marked. For openers, only St. Johnians would vote for the St. John legislator and they would only vote for that one legislative position. Instead of attempting to give up to seven votes to some twenty to thirty candidates, all voters would vote once for one of the candidates resident in their district and running to represent their district. Given this scenario, St. Thomas voters would have voted for the referendum, congressional delegate, Board of Education, Board of Elections, and one legislator. Booth time would be greatly diminished.
I really envy the new legislature. They have the exciting privilege to design a new legislative system that can solve many of our identified problems, and provide the electorate with new and challenging opportunities to influence the laws of our community.