Vancouver Sun

Elec­tions B.C. probe finds no ev­i­dence of voter fraud in Sur­rey-Fleet­wood

- TIF­FANY CRAW­FORD — With files from Jen­nifer Salt­man ticraw­ford@post­media.com

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­le­ga­tion of voter fraud in the pro­vin­cial rid­ing of Sur­rey-Fleet­wood has found no ev­i­dence of cor­rupt vot­ing.

The B.C. NDP re­quested an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on Sept. 29 into po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions by B.C. Lib­eral can­di­date Garry Thind, al­leg­ing he was gath­er­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to make il­le­gal re­quests for vote-by-mail pack­ages.

Un­der the Elec­tion Act vot­ers must re­quest their own vote-by­mail pack­age. It is an of­fence to ob­tain a bal­lot for an­other voter.

Elec­tions B.C.'s in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan Sept. 29 and con­cluded Satur­day. The agency said it in­cluded in­ter­view­ing all iden­ti­fied par­ties, re­view­ing ma­te­rial ob­tained from all par­ties, and an­a­lyz­ing vote-by­mail pack­age re­quest data.

“No ev­i­dence of im­proper voteby-mail pack­age re­quests was found,” the agency stated in a Satur­day news re­lease.

The let­ter, from the NDP's lawyers, al­leged con­cerns about “nu­mer­ous, de­lib­er­ate vi­o­la­tions of the (Elec­tion) Act, in­clud­ing the cor­rupt vot­ing and false dec­la­ra­tion sec­tions.”

In a screen cap­ture of a mes­sage posted in a What­sApp group called

“Garry Thind-Fleet­wood,” some­one named Baldeep Jhand states: “As a team our main task is to regis­ter as many vot­ers as we can by or­der­ing bal­lots in the mail.”

It asks mem­bers to iden­tify vot­ers in the rid­ing and col­lect per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing name, date of birth, ad­dress, phone, email ad­dress and a piece of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We need to regis­ter each and ev­ery voter via in­ter­net,” Jhand wrote. “Elec­tion B.C. (sic) will de­liver bal­lot pa­per via mail to reg­is­tered ad­dress.”

Jhand is listed as one of the group ad­min­is­tra­tors, along with Thind. The B.C. Lib­er­als have de­scribed Jhand, a Sur­rey re­al­tor, as “a sup­porter with no for­mal role in the cam­paign.”

Jhand ac­knowl­edged he was work­ing on Thind's cam­paign but de­clined to an­swer Post­media's ques­tions about the na­ture of his in­volve­ment or the al­le­ga­tions.

B.C. NDP can­di­date Ravi Kahlon, who is run­ning for re-elec­tion in Delta North, called the al­le­ga­tions “very se­ri­ous” and said there is no need for any can­di­date or po­lit­i­cal party to be col­lect­ing peo­ple's per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

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