Findings and allegations of voter fraud have been made in several Metro Vancouver cities with just a week to go before provincewide civic elections.
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 also released a statement saying it was aware of messages circulating on social media messaging system WeChat that appear to offer money in exchange for voting in Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver.
It says the allegations have been forwarded to both Vancouver police and RCMP in Richmond and Burnaby.
RCMP in Surrey say the fraudulent applications have not been linked to any civic election candidate or party.
Police say they have identified and interviewed two people of interest, however further investigation is needed to determine if criminal charges or charges under the Local Government Act are warranted.
No ballots were sent to individuals or residences and police say the process to apply for a mail-in ballot was changed by Surrey’s chief elections officer on Oct. 1.
The RCMP says 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 release says.
Mounties say they were also made aware of third-hand information about international students giving their personal details in exchange for money.
Police say they’ve found no evidence to substantiate those claims nor has anyone come forward to complain.