The Surrey RCMP has been investigating allegations of election fraud in this city for nearly four months now, but still no charge has been laid.
“It’s still ongoing,” Sergeant Chad Greig said Friday, of the investigation.
“We’re hoping for something soon.”
On Dec. 28 he told the Now-Leader it’s “still under investigation — no update.”
Corporal Elenore Sturko on Nov. 16 said it was “progressing, but we don’t have an update for the public” and on Oct. 3, she said, police “understand the time-sensitivity of this situation and have dedicated a significant number of resources and a new tip line to this investigation so the citizens of Surrey can be confident in the election process.”
That dedicated tip line is 604-599-7848.
Surrey anti-gang grassroots organization Wake Up Surrey had lodged a complaint with the RCMP on Sept. 28, 2018 alleging vote buying involving the city’s South Asian community, misuse of absentee ballots and a scheme to solicit registered voters to fill out mail-in voting forms with a total target of 15,000 eligible voters.
That was three weeks before the Oct. 20 civic election.
Sandhu, a leader of Wake Up Surrey, weighed in Friday on the passage of time.
“I think any time there’s a criminal investigation the public has a right to know, especially when it’s an issue such as mail voter fraud,” he told the Now-Leader. “It was so public, the accusations are very serious, and it’s never happened before. I think the public needs full disclosure. We’ve heard that there’s a few individuals under investigation and Wake Up Surrey, as do all other members of our public, want to see this investigation reach completion and finality and those who are responsible for this be exposed.”
About a week before the election, the Surrey RCMP revealed that of 73 applications to vote by mail that police had examined, 67 were fraudulent and that investigators had interviewed two “persons of interest” and were trying to determine if criminal charges, or charges under the Local Government Act, are warranted.
Investigators at that time had not found evidence of fraud linked to any political candidate or slate.
During the election campaign, political candidates had stressed the need for swift action.
Mayor Doug McCallum, who led his Safe Surrey Coalition to victory, said during the campaign that “it’s important that the people of Surrey find out who’s behind this. It’s critical, and it just makes me sick to my stomach that somebody would ever do this in a campaign.”
Before voting day, Bruce Hayne, the mayoral candidate of Integrity Now, said he thanked the Surrey RCMP “for their incredibly fast work to date, and hope that they are able to bring this investigation to a conclusion in an expedient manner.”