Elections Board Deadlocked Over Leadership Vote

Elections Board Chairman Raymond Williams. (Source file photo)
The first order of business for the Board of Elections reportedly met with a delay on Tuesday when the agenda turned to picking a leader. The man who served as board chairman through Dec. 31 convened the meeting on St. Croix, with newly elected and re-elected members present.

All but one of the 14 members showed up, said current Chairman Raymond Williams. The absentee member, Alecia Wells, was nominated to lead the board as chair. Others re-nominated Williams.

By meeting’s end, the chair was still up for grabs. “We still don’t have a chairman,” Williams said. “Raymond Williams got six votes, Alecia Wells got six votes; there was one absentee and one not voting.”

The absentee was Wells, a longstanding member of the board who has served several terms as secretary. In an interview given to the Source on Wednesday, Wells said she had spoken to someone who told her about the nomination.

Williams’ rival for the leadership spot said she tried to book a flight to attend the meeting, but found that she could not. “I knew about it, I tried to get there,” Wells said.

Members present at the St. Croix meeting were, however, able to fill the other two leadership spots. St. John Administrator and board member Shakima Jones-Sprauve was voted in as vice-chair. Lydia Hendricks won the vote to serve as secretary.

Another attempt to pick a chairman will take place at the next scheduled meeting, Williams said. One of the likely agenda items at that time may be a special election for the Sixth Constitutional Convention.

In the final session of the 34th Legislature, lawmakers passed a measure to launch a sixth attempt to create a founding document for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Williams said the measure is awaiting signature by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.

Wells said as of Wednesday evening, she received an email item from Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes with a copy of the bill attached.