Raymond Williams Annuls Vote Re-electing Him Board of Elections Chair: 'This Was My Error'

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • January 26, 2023

Board of Elections Chairman and Executive Director of the V.I. Lottery, Raymond Williams. By. V.I. LEGISLATURE

Board of Elections Chairman Raymond Williams on Wednesday annulled a board meeting where he was re-elected chairman, stating that he reconsidered the outcome because the meeting lacked a quorum.

“This was my error, and as a result we will reconvene the meeting at the availability of a majority of the board members and as soon as possible to dispose of the matter of the chairmanship,” Mr. Williams said, according to a release issued by the Elections System of the Virgin Islands.

According to details provided in the release, the Wednesday meeting was a reconvening of a meeting held on Jan. 10 to organize the executive leadership of the board. At the Jan. 10th meeting, the board was unable to elect a chairperson after several rounds of balloting drawing six votes each for both Alecia Wells and Mr. Williams.. Remaining members of the 14-member board were either absent or chose not to cast a ballot. A motion followed to recess the meeting until the call of the chair but not later than the last day in January.

The meeting was called back to order on Wednesday, January 25, with six members in attendance.

Regarding the reconvened meeting, Mr. Williams said that “once the meeting was called to order, I stated that this was a continuation of the initial meeting of January 10th." Thereafter, board member Michael Joseph called for a motion for a quorum call, which failed because it was not seconded. Mr. Joseph then called for a point of order where he contended that the Wednesday, Jan. 25 meeting, though a continuation of the Jan. 10th meeting, should not move forward because it lacked a quorum.

Even so, board members moved forward to cast their ballots with Mr. Joseph returning a blank ballot. After tabulation of the ballots, it was reported out to the members present that Mr. Williams received five of the six votes. The meeting was then adjourned shortly thereafter.

According to Mr. Williams, shortly after the meeting, he reconsidered the action taken and determined that the votes should be recalled and are now deemed null and void due to not establishing a quorum at the outset of the meeting.

According to the release, at the meeting on January 10, members Shikima Jones Sprauve and Lydia Hendricks were elected vice chairperson and secretary, respectively. Those votes will stand. The members present at the reconvened meeting were Shikima Jones Sprauve, Atanya Springette, Michael Joseph, Kareem Francis, Florine Hassell and Williams. Members Epiphane Joseph, Angeli Leerdam, and Lilliana Belardo gave advanced notice of their unavailability, and members Lisa Moorhead and Harriett Mercer notified staff via email that they could not attend. Three members, Arturo Watlington, Alecia Wells, and Lydia Hendricks were not present.

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