The St. Thomas-St. John District of the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands will initiate a new and innovative way of voting for Virgin Islanders on June 6. That is the date of the Democratic Party caucus to vote for presidential preference and delegates for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Drive-thru voting is a method of voting in an election whereby completed ballot papers are submitted by placing them in a drop-box. Drive-thru voting is an alternative to having voters go in-person to a polling station, vote electronically via an electronic voting system or postal voting.
Despite the title “Drive-Thru Voting,” the act can be accomplished on foot but is most commonly practiced from a vehicle. Drive-thru voting has been determined by the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands as one the safest face-to-face voting practices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drive-thru voting will take place at the Democratic Party headquarters behind the old Dudley home at the former Rambler’s Club and Fred’s on St. John (Cruz Bay). There will be many signs to guide voters and volunteers will be available to assist. Voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 6.
Voters will enter the area and at the first station (tent) they will check-in; volunteers will verify on a laptop that the occupants of the car are registered democratic voters; they will sign in to vote. Upon verification, a ballot will be issued to each registered voter in the vehicle. There will be a large space between stations 1 and 2 to allow voters time to mark their ballots. At station 2 each voter will deposit the ballot into the locked box and drive to station 3 where they will be required to sign out of the polling place.
The sign-in and sign-out process is to reconcile the number of ballots cast with the number of voters who signed in and out. Voters will be allowed to remain in their cars during the entire process.
Anyone wanting to volunteer should contact Angel L. Bolques, the chairman of the Caucus Committee Jr. at 340-690-2555 or Edgar “Baker” Phillips, district chair, at 340-473-6910 for more information or to volunteer for the number of hours they would be available on that day.
On St. John, voting will take place at Fred’s. Harry Daniel (340-514-9114) of St. John will provide more information on the island’s drive-thru process at that site.
The St. Croix District of the Democratic Party will issue its information as the site is confirmed and will detail the process to be used there.