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RCMP probe into vote-buying comes up empty so far

Martin van den Hemel   Oct-19-2018

Richmond Mounties were investigating whether this WeChat post was a crime.

Screen shot


With fewer than 36 hours until Richmond voters elect a new council, Richmond RCMP announced Friday morning that its investigation into allegations of voter manipulation has come up empty so far.

“To date, the Richmond RCMP has only received third party allegations of wrong doing in the election process,” Richmond RCMP Cpl. Dennis Hwang said.

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For there to be a crime, there needs to be a victim, and it’s the latter that investigators are lacking, according to Hwang.

“We are continuing to encourage anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to come forward and speak to us,” Hwang said.

Mounties began to investigate last week when allegations were brought forward about possible voter manipulation on the social media app WeChat.

The post says voters will receive a “transportation reimbursement” of $20, and urges them to support all Asian candidates.

Three candidates in Richmond were endorsed in the post: mayoralty candidate Hong Guo, as well as council candidates Peter Liu, Melissa Shang (which could be a reference to Melissa Zhang) and Zhe Zhang. The post also refers to candidates for council and mayor in Burnaby and Vancouver.

The posting, in simplified Chinese, appears to be made by Wenzhou Association. There is a Wenzhou Association office in Richmond.

The posting was made in a WeChat group with 347 members.

Hwang said Mounties are continuing to investigate concerns of possible voter manipulation in the 2018 civic election.

•martinv@richmondsentinel.ca


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