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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Dear Source,
I take great exception to the recent shenanigans of the current majority bloc of the 24th Legislature for its surreptitious passing of a bill that will, if signed by the governor, mean that all senatorial candidates run at-large. The concept of at-large senate seats does not fit the need for local representation of Virgin Islands voters. It creates a system of far less accountability. Voters from one district of the territory do not know the particular needs of voters of another district.
Michael Bornn, who is running for governor, has been an early supporter of numbered seats as the best means of reforming the election process to obtain a more responsible and accountable Senate. Numbered seats would require senators to stand on their records of performance or lack of performance. It also would require senators to appeal to a broad cross section of residents in their districts. Numbered seats would enhance the atmosphere in the Legislature for working together because, once elected, no Senator would be the opposition of another. Each senator would be representing a different numbered seat, thus not competing against each other as it is in the present system. Yet the concept of numbered seats is a great threat to the existing system of unaccountable actions. Thus the majority bloc feels threatened by numbered seats because they have less possibility for winning.
The Senate's middle-of-the-night action is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to avoid the numbered-seat initiative. You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time Virgin Islands voters will see beyond this tactic taken in the dark of night. A New Day is born. Our enlightened electorate is fed up with the elected officials' continued defiance of their interests.
Michael Bornn has called on the governor to veto this lightly shrouded attempt to disenfranchise voters and he challenges all senators to introduce and to pass legislation enacting numbered seats as depicted in the recently proposed citizen initiative. Such is a true reflection of election reform for the benefit of all Virgin Islanders rather than a few incumbents.
Angel Suarez

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