After back-to-back boycotts from their St. Croix colleagues, most St. Thomas-St. John District Elections Board members were no-shows at Thursday’s Joint Board meeting, keeping any action from being taken for the morning.
The only St. Thomas-St. John member that stayed Thursday was Diane Magras, who later said that she would be making a motion to join together two separate district board meetings that will be held at the same time on Friday.
With the two district boards meeting on separate islands, Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes said she would turn on the office’s videoconferencing equipment – so that both sides could work together – should the motion pass.
The standoff between the boards last September when the St. Croix District Board voted not to use any more of its budget to travel over to St. Thomas for meetings. Thursday’s meeting appeared to be a compromise, with St. Croix board members participating over videoconference, but this time around, the majority of St. Thomas-St. John was not there.
Instead the St. Croix board, with Magras, spent the morning going over political party logistics – including the rules and regulations governing party primary elections and the Joint Board’s role in certifying those elections.
At a meeting in December, the St. Croix District Board voted to notify the three major parties that they would be responsible for paying for the 2016 primary election and that the board’s only responsibility is to certify the election.
The vote came after the Joint Board already approved a proposed election calendar, which had Elections funding the primary election. The matter was expected to be resolved at Thursday’s meeting.
Fawkes said the “drop dead date” for a final calendar would be the middle of March; board members said Thursday that both sides would have to meet before March 4 to act on any changes.
Wrapping up the meeting, Magras suggested that the Elections boards’ meetings be broadcast on public television going forward.
“We have a lot of requests from voters out there who want to see what’s going on,” she said.