Virgin Islanders in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John braved long lines at the territory’s Election System offices on Saturday, sometimes waiting over an hour to vote early before Tuesday’s runoff election. The first-day numbers from the Election System shows resident’s desire to make their vote count in this election cycle.
According to Terrell Alexandre, an assistant to Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, 3,469 Virgin Islanders voted early on Saturday. The total included 1,710 voters in St. Thomas, 1,579 in St. Croix, and 180 votes in St. John.
The runoff election is a hotly contested battle to the end between Governor Kenneth Mapp and candidate for Governor Albert Bryan. Mr. Bryan bested Mr. Mapp during the November 6 General Election by just over 1,000 votes, ending the night with 37.93 percent to Mr. Mapp’s 33.71 percent. According to Virgin Islands law, a candidate must collect 50 plus 1 of the votes during a general election to win. If no candidate garners the requisite percentage, the two candidates coming out on top are to then battle to the end in a runoff election that takes place 14 days later.
In the runoff, the candidates start anew, although the team coming out of the general election at the top carries the momentum. Mr. Bryan has capitalized on this, and has scored a number of endorsements, including that of Senator Alicia Hansen and Adlah Donastorg. But the Mapp-Potter camp has not given up, and has so far waged a relentless campaign during the runoff campaigning period.
Registered voters territory-wide:
To vote early on St. Croix, head to the Election System office in the Sunny Isle Annex across from the WAPA building. On St. Thomas, early voting takes place at the Election System office in Lockhart Gardens upstairs Banco Popular. On St. John, early voting takes place at the Election System Offices located at the Market Place Suite II. The hours on St. Croix and St. Thomas are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on St. John.
Correction: Nov. 18, 2018
Because of a text error, the previous title of this story said early voting for the runoff election, the first day of which was Saturday, took place Friday. The story has been updated.