The Elections Board, for the purposes of the Constitutional election, took it upon themselves to separate the St Thomas and St John candidates into two distinct groups thus effectively creating two separate voting districts which is unlawful. The St Thomas/St John voting district has never been separated in this way. By separating a ballot in favor of a bloc vote, the Elections Board unlawfully set a precedent which the Superior Court recognized as being unlawful. The Supreme Court, by its decision, gave the Elections Board the right to separate districts in the future, a terrible precedent indeed! The Supreme Court recognized that at least two and possibly three Virgin Islands laws were broken by the Elections Board. It is amazing that the Supreme Court recognized that the Elections Board committed unlawful acts yet had the audacity to call Mr. Daniel's actions "inexcusable". The ruling, however, did leave the door open to future action against the Elections Board. By stating that the Board unlawfully altered the ballot, the Supreme Court, by default, allowed a challenge to its (the Elections Board's) decisions. It is now up to citizens to take the Board to task. Of course one way citizens can "deal" with this matter is to remember what took place when they go to the polls. For now, the Constitutional Convention will finally commence. Hopefully, the delegates will take some action to make sure that constitutional language prevents an election to go as faultily as this one did.
The voters of the St Thomas/St John district were disenfranchised and Mr. Daniel was denied his right and the rights of voters who elected him were denied by this Supreme Court. I am hoping that legal scholars are watching this decision. When the highest law-making court in the Virgin Islands makes a landmark ruling, and uses a news article rather than official documents as the basis of that decision, then there is something clearly wrong. Only Justice Swan understood the ramifications of what the Elections Board did.
If ever there was a case to bring the decision of a territorial Supreme Court to the United States Supreme Court, this is it. If the Virgin Islands Supreme Court's decision stands, then all future elections could be in jeopardy. When the will of an elected Board takes precedent over law then we have some serious issues with who we elect, and the power they possess.
I am deeply disturbed over the Supreme Court decision and I believe that every voter in the Virgin Islands should be very concerned about abuse of power within the election system.
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