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Featured / News / Politics / Virgin Islands / November 4, 2014

Democratic nominee for Delegate to Congress, Stacey Plaskett, on Monday wrote an extensive three-page letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, voicing her concerns over the developments arising from the Board of Elections recent decision to not allow voters to place their own ballots into the DS200 voting machines. She has asked DOJ to “immediately send monitors” to observe today’s General Election.

In her letter, Plaskett states that Virgin Islands’ elections have been alleged to be carried out with “election fraud, disenfranchisement, and lost ballots, among other claims.”

She went on to say that during the 2014 election cycle, in particular, those allegations have been heightened.

“However, over the course of the last two weeks, several events related to the voting process have caused the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands great concern about the integrity of the upcoming election,” Plaskett wrote.

She continued: “I also harbor these great concerns, not only as a citizen, but also as a candidate for the Federal position of the U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to the House of Representatives.  The events described below cause me great concern not only because I believe they erode voter confidence in the system, but also because I believe that they create the possibility of widespread disenfranchisement of voters, potential tampering with voters’ intended choice of candidates and violate the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”).”

To read the full contents of Plaskett’s letter, click here.

At press time, it was not known if Plaskett had received a response from DOJ.

Just last week, Sen. Nellie O’Reilly also took similar action in writing to the DOJ and requesting that the Department investigate the Virgin Islands’ Board of Elections. In a follow-up with O’Reilly, the VI Consortium has learned there was little to no response to the Senator’s concerns from the federal government.

“Yes, DOJ confirmed receipt of my letter and said it would be forwarded to the Civil Rights Division, where it went to die,” O’Reilly responded in a brief text message to the VI Consortium.

O’Reilly also shared the contents of a follow-up email she sent the DOJ on Monday regarding her previous request. The full contents are below:

Subject: Re: Voter disenfranchisement in Virgin Islands of USA

This is senator Nereida Rivera O’Reilly. The email below and separate emails sent to the department of justice criminal division by our office and others have gone unanswered. This leaves me no choice than to assume that the federal government is not interested in the plight of those living in the US Virgin Islands. As an elected official and a citizen of the US of America I am discouraged by the lack of interest demonstrated by the federal government. The voters in my district are being disenfranchised. The residents of this territory are crying out for help.

I renew my request for federal presence and review of the election scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday November 4th.


Cynthia Graham

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