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67 out of 73 mail in ballot applications investigated by RCMP were fraudulent

Posted on October 12th, 2018



Investigators have identified and interviewed two persons of interest in this investigation, however further investigation will be required to determine if criminal charges or charges under the Local Government Act are warranted. 

Surrey (Oct 12-2018): The investigation into concerns of possible wrong-doing in Surrey’s mail ballot registration process for the 2018 Civic Election is progressing.

To date, 69 out of 73 people whose personal information was used to complete the application to vote by mail have been interviewed. (Note: Previously, Surrey RCMP stated 72 vote by mail applications were being investigated; this number should be corrected to 73 applications identified by Surrey’s Chief Elections Officer as having irregularities.) The investigation revealed that 67 of these applications were fraudulent, in that they were not completed or signed by the voter listed on the application. Two of these applications requested ballots be sent to addresses that were not associated to the named applicant; the other 65 applications listed the applicant’s correct address for delivery of the voting ballot. 

It should be noted that no ballots were sent out to any individuals or residences based on the fraudulent applications. The process to apply for a mail ballot was amended by the Chief Elections Officer on October 1st to preserve the integrity of the election.

To date, the investigation team has not found any evidence to link any candidate or party to the fraudulent applications.

Investigators have identified and interviewed two persons of interest in this investigation, however further investigation will be required to determine if criminal charges or charges under the Local Government Act are warranted.

On October 3, 2018, the Surrey RCMP set up a dedicated phone line for this investigation. To date, a total of six calls have been received on the tip line with two of those calls requiring follow-up by investigators which has been completed.

At this time, the investigation has not revealed any indication that people were induced or intimidated in any manner to provide their personal information or to vote for a specific candidate.

Concurrent to the investigation of the vote by mail applications, Surrey RCMP was made aware of third hand information regarding international students providing personal detail in exchange for money. Thus far, investigators have not located any evidence to substantiate these claims nor have any victims come forward to police.

It is important for the public to recognize that measures were taken by Chief Elections Officer to amend the application process to preserve the integrity of the election process. It is also important to recognize that no ballots were delivered to voters as a result of the fraudulent applications.

While the police do not routinely release details of on-going investigations, this update is being provided to reassure the public and allow for transparency in the election process.

The Surrey RCMP is asking anyone who believes they have been or may have been induced or intimidated for votes or personal information for voting purposes, to report it directly to the police through our dedicated phone line for this investigation at 604-599-7848.

Media Relations officers will be available for clips between 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Surrey RCMP Detachment located at 14355 57 Ave. Please call or email to schedule a time. 


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