Voter fraud found in Surrey; other claims probed
SURREY — Findings and allegations of voter fraud have been made in several Metro Vancouver cities with just a week to go before provincewide civic elections on Oct. 20.
Mounties in Surrey said Friday that they found 67 fraudulent applications to vote by mail when they followed up on 73 people whose personal information was used to complete mail-in ballots.
The City of Vancouver released a statement saying it was aware of messages circulating on messaging system WeChat that appear to offer money in exchange for voting in Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver.
It said the allegations have been forwarded to Vancouver police and the RCMP in Richmond and Burnaby.
RCMP in Surrey said the fraudulent applications have not been linked to any civic election candidate or party.
Police said they have identified and interviewed two people of interest. However, further investigation is needed to determine whether criminal charges or charges under the Local Government Act are warranted.
No ballots were sent to individuals or residences. Police said the process to apply for a mail-in ballot was changed by Surrey’s chief elections officer on Oct. 1.
The RCMP said it doesn’t routinely release details of ongoing investigations, but the update was provided to reassure the public and allow for transparency in the election.
“It is important for the public to recognize that measures were taken by the chief elections officer to amend the application process to preserve the integrity of the election process,” the statement says.
Mounties said they were also made aware of third-hand information about international students giving their personal details in exchange for money. No evidence to substantiate those claims has been found.