Elections BC says an investigation into allegations of voter fraud in a Surrey riding has found “no evidence of corrupt voting.”
The independent elections agency launched the probe on Sept. 29, following a complaint from the NDP in the Surrey-Fleetwood riding.
NDP lawyers alleged that BC Liberal candidate Gary Thind’s campaign had sought to procure voter information in order to request mail-in ballot packages on the voters’ behalf, in violation of the Elections Act.
The allegations stemmed from screenshots of a WhatsApp group called “Garry Thind-Fleetwood” that allegedly asked volunteers to gather voters personal information in order to request ballots.
“I have been clear from day one. There is no rule for any violations of the Election Act,” said Thind, Saturday.
“All of those that spread that spread the false accusations must apologize to the volunteers of this campaign, starting with (NDP Delta North candidate Ravi) Kahlon.
“He was very quick to hold a press conference to call me guilty. When will he hold a press conference to speak on my innocence?”
Kahlon said he was pleased to hear that the investigation found no fraud.
But he said the intent of the WhatsApp group was “clear.”
“To illegally request mail-in ballots on behalf of other people,” he said.
“We’re still trying to explanations on what Garry Thind and his campaign knew about this activity.”
The Elections BC investigation concluded Saturday.
“It included interviewing all identified parties, reviewing material obtained form all parties, and analyzing vote-by-mail package request data,” Elections BC spokesperson Andrew Watson said in a statement.
“No evidence of improper vote-by-mail package requests was found.”
While there is no evidence that any laws were broken, Elections BC took the investigation as a chance to remind all parties that requesting ballots on behalf of voters is illegal in B.C.
As of Friday, Elections BC had received 494,000 requests for vote-by-mail packages. That represents about a quarter of the 1.98 million people who voted in the 2017 provincial election.