Voters Rights & Responsibilities
Federal and Territorial Laws
- Any United States citizen who is a qualified elector in the Virgin Islands is entitled to vote without regard to race or color with no literacy tests employed.
- No person shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote.
- Electors shall not be intimidated, threatened or coerced for voting for any person.
- A provisional ballot may be cast by a person in the Virgin Islands if the name does not appear in the District Register or on the official of registered voters.
- Electors casting provisional ballots shall be provided written information at the time of voting regarding how to ascertain whether the vote was counted, and if not, why not.
- Any blind or physically disabled person may bring as many as one persons of their choosing into the voting booth to provide any needed assistance to vote.
- Should an elector request assistance after entering the voting booth, two Election Officers shall jointly provide the requested assistance without influencing the voter and shall leave the voting machine before the voter registers his/her vote.
- Electors can submit a formal complaint regarding alleged violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act that have occurred, are occurring, or are about to occur through the Administrative Complaint Procedure.
- Electors shall not vote in the name of another person and shall not vote more than once.
- No person or corporation shall hinder, coerce, control or intimidate any qualified elector in the exercise of the right to vote.
- A registered voter who has moved or changed his/her name without notifying the Election System of the Virgin Islands in their district may vote at the polling place at which they appear on the day of the election with proof of having moved.
NOTICE: Contact the Board of Elections in the election district, the Supervisor of Elections, or the Islands Department of Justice, or the US Attorney’s Office if you believe that your rights have been violated.
Casting a Provisional Ballot
- A person claiming to be properly registered in the Virgin Islands and eligible to vote at a specific election district, but whose eligibility to vote at that location cannot be determined, shall be entitled to vote a Provisional Ballot as provided by law.
- Election Officers in the polling place shall inform a person who desires to vote a Provisional Ballot of the location of his/her correct polling place.
- Persons voting a Provisional Ballot shall present proof of identity and address to the Election Officers.
- The voter shall complete the affidavit on the Provisional Ballot Envelope and affirm the right to vote. Upon completion of the affidavit, an Election Officer shall sign the space provided as witness to the person’s signature. The Election Officer shall write the affidavit number on the instruction sheet to be given to the voter.
- The Election Officer shall give the voter his/her ballot, a ballot envelope, Provisional Ballot envelope, the ballots and an instruction sheet. The voter shall then be provided a location for marking the
- After voting the Provisional Ballot, the voter shall fold the ballot, put it into the ballot envelope and then put the ballot envelope into the Provisional Ballot Envelope, seal the Provisional Ballot Envelope and place it in the ballot box.
- Should a voter “spoil” his/her ballot, upon request he/she shall be given another ballot upon surrendering the “spoiled” ballot.
- The Information Sheet includes instructions on how a voter may determine whether or not his/her ballot was counted, and if not counted, the reason that it was not counted.
- If Territorial Court or another court of competent jurisdiction orders that some or all polling places in a district remain open beyond the normal time for closing, all persons who arrive to vote at the polling place(s) ordered to be kept open after the normal time for closing shall vote by Provisional Ballot.
- The voter announces his/her name and address and gives the Election Officer identification when arriving at the Officers’ Table.
- The Election Officer checks the person’s name and address against the District Register or Poll List. If everything is correct, the Election Officer places the elector’s name and serial number in the “To Whom” Register and has the voter sign his/her Signature The Election Officer records the elector numerical position on the back of the voter registration card or list and send the elector to the end of the line of persons waiting to vote.
- If the voter does not show proper identification, he/she shall complete an affidavit of affirmation that he/she is the person listed in the District Register or on the Poll List before being permitted to vote.
- If the voter is challenged for identity or residency, the Election Officers shall thereupon read to and afterwards administer to the person challenged an oath. If he takes the oath prescribed his vote shall be received, otherwise his vote shall be rejected.
- No voter may remain in the voting machine for longer than five minutes except for good and sufficient reason.
- No voter shall re-enter a voting machine after casting his/her ballot.
- No voter shall communicate with any person in the polling place except for the Election Officers.
- A voter may not be accompanied in the polling place and voting machine by a minor child.
- Persons who are not permitted to vote at that polling place as provided by law may cast a Provisional Ballot
- If you want to make a write-in vote, press the WRITE-IN button located in the block for that office. After you press the WRITE-IN button, the red button located above the ballot will begin to flash.
- Press the flashing red button located above the ballot. The WRITEIN window will open.
IMPORTANT: Once you have pressed the flashing red button, you MUST cast your vote for that office by writing in the name of the person for whom you want to vote.
- After the WRITE-IN window has opened, neatly print the full name of the person for whom you want to vote on the paper tape.
- When you are finished printing the name of the person for whom you wish to vote, gently pull the WRITE-IN window down until it is closed.
Administrative Complaint Procedure
Section 402 of HAVA requires the territory of the Virgin Islands to create territory-based administrative complaint procedures to assure state compliance with Title III of HAVA. The Virgin Islands plans to manage complaints informally, formally and through mediation. When this informal process does not satisfy the voter, a formal administrative complaint procedure will be available as well as mediation. The procedures must meet the following requirements:
- The procedures are uniform and nondiscriminatory.
- Any person who believes there is a violation of Title III (past, present or future) may file a complaint.
- Complaints shall be in writing and notarized, signed and sworn by the person filing the complaint.
- The state may consolidate complaints.
- The state shall provide an appropriate remedy if it finds a violation has occurred.
- If no violation is found, the complaint shall be dismissed and the results of the procedures published.
- Complaints shall have a final resolution within 90 days of the complaint being filed, unless the complainant consents to a longer period.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved within that period, an alternative dispute resolution procedure must be provided.
This complaint procedure is intended to be less formal than most administrative procedures, with potential violations being more likely to represent system-wide problems than individual voting rights. Thus, the possible remedies will be less personal in nature. Therefore, the Virgin Islands proposes to implement these requirements in the following manner, through appropriate administrative rules adopted by the Joint Boards of Election:
- The procedures are solely for complaints alleging a violation of Title III, including voting system standards, instructions on correcting voting errors, ID requirements for voting in federal elections if registration was by mail, computerized voter registration, contents of registration forms, and provisional voting.
- Complaints will be accepted only if made in writing, signed under oath by the person filing the complaint and notarized. The complaint must be filed directly with the Office of the Supervisor of Elections. The Office of the Supervisor of Elections will provide a form on-line that contains the required elements. Elections officials will be encouraged to resolve HAVA complaints informally if possible, but if a person wishes to file a formal complaint, the complaint must be provided and the person directed to submit it to the Office of the Supervisor of Elections
- Hearing on the record: The informal hearing is intended to affect a resolution of the matter by reconciling the parties’ differences and/or rectifying the alleged action(s). If, after preliminary review of the matter, it is the judgment of the Supervisor of Elections that the Office of the Supervisor of Elections should not address the case, the informal procedure shall be terminated and the Supervisor of Elections shall advise the complainant of other available procedures that are available to them.
If the Supervisor of Elections finds that the Office of the Supervisor of Elections should address the complaint, the Supervisor of Elections will initiate the informal complaint procedure. The Supervisor of Elections may communicate directly with the respondent specifically, outlining the alleged infractions and attempt to resolve the matter. If this resolves the complaint, no other person will be contacted. The Supervisor of Elections may also meet both parties, make inquiries to ascertain pertinent fact, and consult with others to facilitate the process. If, under this procedure, it is determined that there is a violation of any provision of Title III, an appropriate remedy shall be instituted. If, under this procedure, it is determined that there is no violation of any provision of Title III, the complaint shall be dismissed and the results of the procedures shall be published. If this option does not resolve the matter, all other options remain open to the complainant.
- Appropriate remedy: A remedy must be in conformance with territorial elections law and will not include financial payments to complainants or civil penalties for election officials, even if it is determined that a
- Violation of Title III has occurred. Remedies may include written findings that a violation of Title III has occurred, strategies for insuring that violation does not occur again and, if it appears that the complaint involves a systemic problem, possible actions by the Office of the Supervisor of Elections to provide better instructions, training, or procedures for all election officials to avoid future violations.
- Publish the results: Office of the Supervisor of Elections will publish the results of all complaints so that the public can see the outcome, by posting the closing letters to the system’s website, with links based on who filed the complaint, or a date, or a topic.
- Make a final determination in 90 days: When charges of a problem/violation are substantiated and probable cause is determined. The appropriate District Board, in consultation with the Supervisor of Elections, will render a determination regarding the proposed disciplinary and/or corrective action. The Supervisor of Elections input will be limited to issues presented in the case and specific questions regarding compliance with federal and territorial mandates. Decisions regarding corrective action shall be exclusively the province of the appropriate District Board. The District Board will be responsible for the implementation of all such disciplinary/corrective action. At a minimum, the action taken should be designed to protect the complainant from any future procedural or statutory violations. Consistent with the Election System’s employee confidentiality policies, the complainant may not be fully advised of actions imposed. The District Board, in consultation with the Attorney General, will determine whether further hearing opportunities are required prior to determination of proposed discipline. The territory shall make a final determination with respect to the complaint prior to the expiration of the 90-day period, which begins on the date; the complaint is filed, unless the complainant consents to a longer period for making such a determination. If the territory fails to meet the deadline 90-day period, the complaint shall be resolved within 60 days under alternative dispute resolution procedure. The record and other material from any proceeding conducted under the complaint procedures shall be made available for use under the alternative dispute resolution procedure.
- The alternative dispute resolution procedures will be mediation. It is mandated pursuant to P.L. 107-252 section 402(1)(I). Upon preliminary review of the allegations, the Joint Board of Elections will determine whether the case is appropriate for mediation. Examples of those that may not be appropriate for mediation include complaints that involve discrimination against a group or class, reflects a pattern and practice of discrimination, or criminal violation. (This is not an exhaustive listing). If the complainant’s selection of mediation is appropriate, the Supervisor of Election will initiate the mediation process within fifteen (15) business days. The Supervisor of Election may serve as the mediator or assign the case to a mediator. The mediator must be neutral, objective, and agreeable to both parties. The mediator will promptly arrange a meeting of both parties, during which the parties will develop a memorandum of understanding as to the purpose and scheduling of the mediation sessions. The mediator will preserve this documentation. At the conclusion of the successful mediation, the parties will develop and the mediator will preserve an agreement for resolution of the complaint and future interactions between both parties. The written agreement will be signed by both parties and submitted to the Supervisor of Elections. The agreement will take effect immediately according to its own terms.
Persons Permitted in the Voting Room
- Members of the District Boards of Elections and Management staff.
- The Election Official and related personnel.
- Authorized Poll Watchers as provided by law.
- Persons voting or waiting to vote, or persons permitted to provide the voter assistance.
- Other persons necessary to the conduct of the election as determined by unanimous consent of the Judges and Inspector.
Prohibitions: Fraud & Misrepresentation
- Persons shall not give or offer to give any elector any money or thing of value as compensation, inducement, or reward for registering to vote, not registering to vote, for voting or not voting, or for voting in a particular manner.
- Persons shall not fake a physical disability in order to have persons of their choice provide them assistance in voting.
- Election Officers shall not attempt to influence, persuade, intimidate, bribe or coerce any elector in any manner that would affect for whom the elector votes.
- No person shall attempt to vote in the name of another person whether the other person is living, dead or fictitious.
- No person shall vote or attempt to vote more than once in any election.
- No person shall fraudulently cast any ballot.
- Election Officers shall not make any false entries on election records.
- No person shall change or alter another person’s ballot, or otherwise defraud an elector of his/her vote.
- No person shall steal, destroy or hide any registration or election