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Board of Elections members on St. Croix completed scanning of ballots from all of the District’s precincts in a marathon session that went late into Thursday night; however, early voting, which totaled about 600 ballots; absentee votes, with another 500 ballots; and sticker votes, reported at under 500 ballots, have yet to be tallied manually. After last night’s count however, the gubernatorial race seemed more than likely to head into a runoff between the Christensen and Mapp teams.
Ballots from the last three remaining precincts in the St. Croix District were scanned, including Alexander Henderson Elementary School, Lew Muckle Elementary School and the John F. Kennedy Community Center. After the count, the Board’s technician released the latest results on the Elections System website, and the latest numbers revealed Christensen had gained some momentum, while Mapp lost some ground.
Careful analysis of the votes indicate that Mapp will need an overwhelming number of votes–more than three quarters–to arrive at the 50 percent mark; however, the current trends, which has seen the former Lt. Governor capturing about double Christensen’s numbers on St. Croix, does not bode well for Mapp, as it relates to preventing the contest from heading into a runoff.
With all the precincts counted, assuming there are, in total, about 1,400 votes remaining when early voting, absentee voting and sticker ballots are combined, when calculating the total amount of gubernatorial numbers, it adds up to 20,908, of which Mapp has 48 percent, roughly. Adding the remaining 1,400 votes, the total now becomes 22,307, and Mapp would need 50 percent of that to win, or 11,153.5 votes. Mapp currently has 10,077 votes, so the math becomes subtracting Mapp’s total from 11,153.5.
11,153.5 – 10,077 = 1,076.5.
So, Mapp would need to capture 1,076 votes, or 76 percent of the remaining votes–a little over three quarters of the remaining total to arrive at 50 percent–something that is highly improbable, based on the percentage breakdown so far. And that’s without even adding symbol voting, which historically has gone overwhelmingly to the Democrat nominee.
Mapp, however, has been preparing his supporters for a runoff contest even before Nov. 4.
“I have been admonishing my folks to be prepared for a runoff — there’s some debate about that, but being realistic, we’re looking at that, and we’re just excited. It’s going to be a great time of opportunity, and the community continues to support us and give us what appears to be a successful effort,” Mapp told this reporter in a recent interview.
At the Board of Elections late Thursday, members of the community filled the small room as Board members counted the votes from the three remaining precincts, moving faster than the day before. Still, residents openly discussed their displeasure with the way the voting process turned out this year, complaining that it has been slow and inefficient.
Mapp supporters were present, as well as embattled Senator Alicia “Chucky” Hansen, watching intently as the ballots were being scanned. Hansen lost her seat in Tuesday’s General Election, as there are not enough sticker ballots and write-ins to lift the Senator past the lowest senatorial winner; not even if Hansen was given all the write-in votes.
If a runoff election is to take place, it will happen in two weeks, on November 18, after the General Election. Once it is determined by the Christensen and Mapp teams that a runoff is inevitable, expect another campaigning blitz to gain the support of voters who voted for Mona Barnes and Soraya Diase-Coffelt.
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