The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections decided at its regular meeting on Tuesday that it will “take its newest polling place, the Charles W. Turnbull Library, for a test run” during this year’s August primary election.
Board Chairman Arturo Watlington Jr. said that during the primary the Elections System will use the library in place of the polling station at Tutu Park Mall in order to see how many people turn out at the new location. It also needs to be determined, he said, if the library will present any obstacles, such as accessibility issues, before the November general election.
How voters in Estate Anna’s Retreat will be divided amongst the area’s existing polling places has been uncertain since October 2015, when the Elections System decided to discontinue the use of E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School and the Anna’s Retreat Curriculum Center as voting stations.
Joseph Gomez Elementary School will continue to be used as a polling place this year, but more than 2,100 voters are already assigned to use it. The remaining Anna’s Retreat voters displaced by the closures will have to go elsewhere.
The 1,504 voters formerly assigned to E. Benjamin Oliver and the 1,792 formerly assigned to the Curriculum Center will be divided between polling places at Tutu Park Mall and the nearby Turnbull Library, the Elections System decided.
It has not been officially determined which voters will end up where – individuals will be informed by letter – but Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes recommended Tuesday that voters who formerly used EBO be assigned to the library while former curriculum center voters be assigned to the mall.
All new registering voters in Estate Anna’s Retreat are supposed to be assigned to the library, although there was dispute at the District Board’s last meeting over whether the transition was happening quickly and smoothly enough to prevent confusion come election time (See Link: St. Thomas-St. John Elections Board Split on Vote of No Confidence in Supervisor).
Aside from the library, primary polling places in the St. Thomas-St. John district will be the same ones used in the 2014 election, the district board decided Tuesday. Those polling places are Charlotte Amalie High School, Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Joseph Sibilly School and Julius E. Sprauve School.
Present at the meeting were Fawkes, Watlington, and board members Lydia Hendricks, Lawrence Boschulte, Alecia Wells and Ivy Moses. Diane Magras and Carla Joseph were absent.