Voter fraud found in Sur­rey; other claims probed

Times Colonist - - B.c. / Canada -

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.

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