ST. CROIX — The St. Croix Board of Elections decision during its August 31 meeting to remove candidate Alicia Hansen from the ballot was “flawed,” Attorney General Claude Walker has advised in a letter obtained by The Consortium, which was a response to a letter from St. Croix Board Chairwoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal, requesting guidance on the challenge filed by Chairwoman of the Democratic Party Lauretta Petersen on the validity of Mrs. Hansen’s voter registration, filed as “Alicia “Chucky” Hansen”.
Mr. Walker, however, did not delve into the issue of Mrs. Hansen’s eligibility to be on the ballot relative to the issues surrounding her name, but rather Ms. Petersen’s failure to file an affidavit that complies with 18 Virgin Islands Code § 101(a).
“Specifically, 18 V.I.C. § 101(a) provides that “any person claiming the right to register may be challenged by any member of the hoard of elections or by a qualified elector of the election district. This means that either a board member or a qualified elector has the right to challenge an individual’s registration. In this instance, the Democratic Party, through its chairwoman made its appeal of Mrs. Hansen’s voter registration pursuant to this statute section,” Mr. Walker wrote.
However, he added, “the Affidavit of Challenge did not comply with 18 V.I.C. § 101(c).”
This section states:
The challenge affidavit shall be, in form, prescribed by the Supervisor of Elections, and shall contain spaces for the following information: (I) Serial number; (2) place and date of execution; (3) full name of challenged applicant; (4) whether he is married or single; (5) if married, where his family resides; (6) if single, where his parents reside; (7) where applicant actually resided immediately before he took up his present residence; (8) his residence for the four months immediately preceding date of execution; (9) the name of his present employer; (10) the election district, and town and street and number, if any, of his place of business; (11) the name of his last employer, and the year in which he left his employ; (12) the election district, and town and street and number, if any, of said last employer’s place of business; (13) sex of the applicant; (14) the date of his birth; and (15) such distinguishing marks. peculiarities, and further information for identification as the board shall prescribe.
Because the affidavit did not include all the requirements listed above, Mr. Walker said the challenge was “defective and should have been rejected by the Board.” The board’s decision, he added, was flawed and should be corrected. Mr. Walker later told this publication that due process should be allowed Mrs. Hansen, and that Ms. Petersen should refile her challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party.
Mrs. Belardo de O’Neal also requested a representative from the Attorney General’s office be present at the next St. Croix Board of Elections meeting, set for Thursday at 10:00 a.m., which Mr. Walker granted.
“Transmit to me the date of your next board meeting with an agenda. I will identify an assistant attorney general to attend that meeting,” he wrote.