SURREY, B.C. — The RCMP say they have completed an investigation into alleged voter fraud ahead of the civic election in Surrey, B.C., and Crown prosecutors are reviewing their report for charge assessment.
Surrey was one of several municipalities in Metro Vancouver where voter fraud allegations were reported during local election campaigns last fall.
The Mounties say in a news release they launched the investigation in September after Surrey's chief elections officers noted irregularities in the mail ballot registration process.
They found 67 applications to be fraudulent because they were not completed or signed by the voter listed on the application, but no ballots were sent out based on those applications and the process to apply for a mail ballot was amended on Oct. 1 to preserve the integrity of the election.
The Mounties received one more complaint that an election employee at a polling station tried to influence a voter but they say the employee was quickly removed by officials overseeing the election.
The results of the RCMP probe were shared with the chief electoral officer and Crown counsel, who has forwarded them to the B.C. prosecution service to consider charges.
“Allegations such as these are rare, but important to investigate to ensure the integrity of our democratic process,” Asst. Commissioner Dwayne McDonald said in the release.
In October, the City of Vancouver also said it was aware of messages circulating on social media site WeChat that appeared to offer money in exchange for voting in Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver.
It said the allegations were forwarded to both Vancouver police and the RCMP in Richmond and Burnaby.
RCMP in Surrey have previously said the fraudulent applications have not been linked to any civic election candidate or party.