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Here’s What to Expect on Nov. 8 When Voting in the U.S. Virgin Islands

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Voting day on Nov. 8 is quickly approaching for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the V.I. Board of Elections has asserted that it is fully prepared to hold a successful election, as it has in the past.

Staff has been trained, various procedures have been implemented, and voting equipment have been tested to ensure a successful outcome. The distribution of voting machines is expected to begin on Sunday throughout the territory. Beginning Monday, the V.I. Police Department will also begin erecting barriers.

Regarding the deployment of voting equipment, trucking times for some areas were still being finalized on Friday. Elections Board members discussed getting some of the voting equipment into local school gyms — officials are expected to go into those areas around 1:00 p.m. on Monday to begin preparations, closing off traffic to the gyms.

Outdoor lighting will be set up at several voting centers beginning Sunday. These include the St. Croix Educational Complex Gym, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal School Auditorium and the St. Croix Central High School Modular Gymnasium. The VIPD and the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency are expected to assist in this regard.

Relative to voting equipment, each voting center will receive a set number of touch screen DS200 express voting machines and express poll books, with spares available if needed. If a spare machine is used and another is required to be sent to a voting center, that will be done as well. The main goal for election officials in this regard is to do everything possible to avoid long lines on election day.

Every voting location will have at least 100 paper ballots from each precinct. Depending on the expected voter turnout, some voting centers will receive more ballots than others. Election officials are confident that there will be enough ballots to go around.

Board members explained the process for voters who were unsure of what to expect:

When a voter arrives at a voting center, they will be met by a greeter who will direct them to an area where they can wash or sanitize their hands. Hand washing stations are available at the majority of polling places. A temperature check will be performed upon entry.

After temperature checks and sanitizing, the voter will be directed to an e-poll worker who will check them in and ask if they want to use the express voting machine or a paper ballot. It is entirely up to the voter to decide.

If a voter arrives to a voting center and discovers that their voting status is inactive, resolving that will be a relatively simple process. The facilitator at that voting center will contact the main office to have this corrected. Board members noted that issues of this nature were resolved in about five minutes or less during the early voting process. Voter activation cards will be available at each voting location.

In terms of the candidates, Elections Board Chair Raymond Williams noted that the board had met with them twice this week to speak about the rules governing the voting process.

Having set the wheels in motion, members expressed their anticipation for a smooth election. Mr. Williams thanked everyone for their continued efforts “despite the challenges.”

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