Allegations of voter fraud in BC Liberal leadership should be independently investigated

Serious allegations of voter fraud involving the BC Liberal leadership campaign should be investigated independently, Vancouver-Hastings MLA Niki Sharma said today.

According to multiple media reports, five of seven leaderships campaigns have sent a joint letter to the BC Liberals’ Leadership Organizing Committee alleging membership irregularities.

“We are collectively concerned about the potential for voter fraud, the current audit process, and the risk of catastrophic reputational damage to the party, party staff, LEOC, the executive and all of us if this race is perceived as anything less than free and fair,” the letter reportedly said.

The most serious allegations say that names of newly signed members are attached to addresses of businesses, not residences, including a forest service road. Campaign managers for Ellis Ross, Michael Lee, Renee Merrifield, Gavin Dew and Stan Sipos signed the letter to the committee.

Leadership front runner Kevin Falcon and Val Litwin did not sign the letter.

This isn’t the first time accusations of improper tactics were made against a BC Liberal Leadership campaign.

According to a Glacier Media investigation in April 2021, Falcon’s 2011 leadership campaign was accused of using addictions patients at a facility near Prince George as campaign workers. That same clinic received funding from the BC government while he served as health minister.

Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings

“It is deeply troubling that five of the seven leadership candidates are making such serious allegations. This casts a shadow on the entire leadership campaign and the democratic process. I urge the BC Liberal Party to take these allegations seriously and send the allegations to a credible third party so they can be subject to an independent investigation.”