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