Nov. 5, 2002 – Slow but steady characterized Tuesday's election day turnout on St. John. "This morning was a little busier, but it's slowed down," Eleanor Parrilla said at her post outside the Julius E. Sprauve School polling place to support Sen. Roosevelt David and Gov. Charles Turnbull in their bids for re-election.
Reports from Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay told a similar story.
Many St. John voters and candidate supporters said that they were pleased to find that this year they had a real choice when it came to voting for governor, rather than voting for the lesser of two evils. "This time it's different. We have educated people. The sky's the limit," Elvis Yearwood said.
Genevieve Moorehead said this election campaign has been more interesting than in other years. However, she said, she votes no matter who's running. "It's my right to vote," she said, echoing an earlier comment by Gwendolyn Benjamin.
Terry and Chuck Pisko were voting for the first time on St. John. "It's got a festive air," Chuck said as he and his wife navigated the line of candidate supporters stationed outside Sprauve School. He said he listened to the debates on television in order to make up his mind. His wife's view was that "There are too many candidates."
Oswin Sewer, on hand to support gubernatorial candidate John de Jongh, said that on election day, everyone is equal. "A poor man's vote counts just as much as a million-dollar man's vote," he said.
Based on the turnout at Sprauve School, Sewer he estimated that about 500 St. John residents had turned out to vote by 11:30 a.m.
Some Sprauve ninth graders got into the election day spirit by holding a bake sale outside the school, hustling cookies and other goodies to raise money to make graduation gift to the school next spring. "Playground equipment" is what they have in mind, explained Shanese Jean, holding up a bake sale sign with Liyah Tonge.
Cassius Mathurin was on hand to support St. John's own Craig Barshinger in his fight to unseat Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd as the territory's at-large senator. "I feel we need a change," Mathurin said.
However, he pointed out that with all untested candidates, you never know until they take office whether they'll make good on their promises. "I just want them to do the right thing," he said.
Some people went the extra mile and then some to support their favorites. St. Thomian Michael Rodriquez came home from Alexandria, Virginia, to work for his brother, senatorial candidate Kevin Rodriquez. Michael, who once worked as a court reporter in District Court on St. Thomas, now has a similar position in Alexandria.
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