“Now recently we saw in the Daily News we saw that there are candidates that have been disqualified from the ballot, Supervisor Fawkes. Including the sitting GOP Chairman as elected two years ago, according to Virgin Islands law. Let’s explain to the public that process. because individuals think once they see a name in the paper, that individual is automatically running once they get their petition in,” USVI News Lesley Comissiong said.
“So as I say to the deputies, they go through, they have a checklist that we created internally from 2014. The staff checks the signatures. So there are various areas that may be deficient, that the deputies will annotate, and bring it up to my level. I’m the one that disqualifies any of the candidates. So it could be names they didn’t get enough of the signatures. That’s a major one,”
“We are always encouraging them to get more than they need. But if they don’t meet the requirement we issue a notice of defect. Notice of defect you have three days, if we issue a notice of defect today, we start counting tomorrow. You have three days to turn in the paperwork with the corrected deficiencies,” Supervisor of Election of the Election System of the Virgin Islands Caroline Fawkes said.
“It could be addresses that are different when folks registered when they were 18 years old. They could be documents that are not correct, if they didn’t notarize the documents, etc. etc. in the nomination package. So the deputies will do their review, it comes to my level, I do the final review, and decide whether to disqualify or qualify them to go on the ballot,” Fawkes said.
“So yes, it was a big number this time. We had two that withdraw. So we don’t count that as disqualified, they withdraw before the timeline, and they have the option to do that and it’s on the election calendar. So they decide, ‘I’m not going to run for that position any more.’ Others either had signatures issues, whether it’s a territorial position,” Fawkes said.
“So we focus on John Canegata for the State Chairperson. So what happened, we will select signatures in the St. Thomas district. It might not have been him himself, he might get someone from St. Thomas that’s registered in St. Thomas to collect those signatures. That did not happen. We tried to reach out to him. We didn’t get him by phone or email either. I know he was off island, out of the territory. So again, he had a three days notice. He did not meet the three days notice. He’s disqualified as is anybody else. The chairperson runs every two years. So he was sitting from 2020, his term is up ending December 2022. Now the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman, they are a four year term, so they still have that person in position from 2020,” Fawkes said.