A letter dated Wednesday from V.I. Attorney General Claude Walker says the St. Croix Board of Elections acted improperly to remove former Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen’s name from the ballot based on a name change request now before the courts and a subsequent challenge by the Democratic Party to Hansen’s eligibility to seek elected office.
Walker’s letter was addressed to St. Croix Board of Election Chairwoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal in response to her request for guidance on the challenge brought by Lauretta Petersen of the V.I. Democratic Party.
In an Aug. 24 filing with the district election board, the Democratic Party alleged that Hansen’s bid for office is in violation of V.I. Code provisions regarding the former senator’s voter registration. The party said specifically that Hansen’s status as an elector should be questioned given that former district lawmaker has published a public notice about her petition for a name change.
Petersen claims that Hansen sought and was denied the court’s permission to waive the public notice requirement, which is mandated by Virgin Islands law.
Walker not only found the board’s actions improper he said the Democratic Party’s affidavit of challenge to Hansen’s voter registration failed to comply with pertinent sections of the V.I. Code. Walker listed 15 conditions that had to be satisfied for the affidavit of challenge to be properly filed with the elections board.
Walker wrote, “Therefore, the affidavit was defective and should have been rejected by the Board ab initio (from the beginning).”
“The action of the St. Croix Board of Elections is flawed and should be corrected,” Walker wrote.
Walker did promise to have an assistant attorney general present at the next elections board meeting to provide legal counsel and guidance as required. The next meeting is set for Thursday.