According to unofficial territory-wide results, the team of Albert Bryan, Jr. and Tregenza Roach won Tuesday’s gubernatorial runoff election, beating incumbents Kenneth Mapp and Osbert Potter, 11,796 votes to 9,766.
Bryan and Roach had the lead early on St. Thomas-St. John, where ballot counting began around 7:30 p.m. With early voting numbers tallied first, the team started with 3,189 votes, while Mapp and Potter posted 799. The divide continued to grow over the next few hours, and by the time 10 out of the 13 precincts in the district were counted, Bryan and Roach’s total had grown to 9,189, with Mapp and Potter at 4,729.
Throughout the evening, no numbers were posted from St. Croix, nor could they be found on the Election System’s website up to 9:30 p.m. A few minutes later, however, the final territory-wide results were announced, showing Mapp behind by a little more than 2,000 votes.
Asked why there were no updates from St. Croix throughout the evening, Elections System officials said they didn’t know, but likely that it was a decision made by the St. Croix contingent of the V.I. Elections Board.
Otherwise, looking back on the day, Elections Board chair Arturo Watlington, Jr. said the runoff went smoothly, with “no problems experienced” at the polls he had visited or checked on St. Thomas-St. John, though there did appear to be issues early on in St. Croix.
Meanwhile, approximately 4,000 fewer voters showed up to vote in the runoff than in the Nov. 6 general, and while political commentators chalked it up to voter apathy, Watlington said he didn’t have a definitive answer as to why.
According to Elections, 21,562 votes (whether early voting or from the polls) were counted Tuesday.
“We do have a huge amount of absentee ballots, though,” Watlington added. He explained that because the absentee ballots were not printed on paper that can feed into the system’s DS200 machines, most will have to be “remade” and counted with the Express Vote machine. Absentee ballot counting starts Wednesday at the Elections offices in both districts, but Watlington said by law, the board will have to wait another 10 days so that all can come in and the runoff can be certified.
Asked how well the unified Elections board worked throughout the past three elections, Watlington added, “no comment.”