CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A defeated candidate for the NDP nomination of Calgary-North East says she’s found examples of voter fraud and is calling on the party to investigate.
Roop Rai and her team have also made complaints to the Alberta Elections Commissioner and the Calgary Police Service.
Rai says they first became aware of the issue in the days leading up to the nomination race.
“When we got the membership list from the party prior to the nomination, so we got the membership list had a lot of addresses that had maybe 15 members in one household or 12 members in one household and that was a red flag immediately,” she told 660 NEWS. “So we contacted the party, I emailed them, I had 8 emails to the party prior to the nomination informing them possible fraud might happen at the nomination.”
Rai says she provided the addresses where the “fraud members” lived. She also spoke with one of the homeowners who told her he was willing to come out and say those people did not live at the property ahead of the race.
She was assured that there would be a fair election and the chair of the race said she would set questionable ballots aside.
The defeated candidate says every questionable ballot her scrutineer tried to object to was overruled for reasons unknown to them.
“We had one scrutineer who worked in the bank and she came to me after and I told them these bank statements, this is not how they looked, so she informed them repeatedly but the party looked away,” she said.
Rai says she’s disappointed in the process and not in the fact that she didn’t win and lost.
“For me it’s the process, I grew up here in Canada. My parents moved here to Canada because they had to move away from India because of the political system there and here we are and it’s the exact same, corrupt political system,” she said. “Their right is being hijacked, the constituents.”
A petition has been signed with more than 150 people so far demanding an investigation.
One of her scrutineer’s, Inderpreet Singh Gill, has also written to the Alberta Elections Commissioner notifying him of the alleged fraud.
“Given all of the evidence …. we request that an immediate, independent and an in-depth investigation is conducted into the AB NDP Dec 16 nomination meeting by the Office of the Election Commissioner and the nomination results must be held in abeyance pending investigation,” he writes in a five-page letter.
“We chose to support the New Democratic Party because we felt this party had integrity, this party stood for what’s right and that was the reason we were supporting it. And now when that comes into question when we are repeatedly telling this party to investigate and it’s still not investigating … it’s hurtful,” said Rai.
Rai says the party confirmed to her that two voters fraudulently voted and officials spoke to one of the homeowners that she had been telling them about.
“I’m asking them for the voters list from the day of so that I can compare and look at that list and highlight the names that I can recognize of people who don’t live in that riding. Unless I have that voters list I cannot further my investigation either, so my hands are tied here. They need to support me, give me that voters list, if you don’t want to do the investigation, I’ll do it for you,” she said.
She says this is not ‘sour grapes’ and adds if she’s proven wrong at the end of the day, that will be fine and she’ll move on.
“If these two people can get through, I’m sure there’s more,” said Rai. “If these two people know how to cheat the system they will tell other people and it might happen again. Is this the democracy we want to give our children?” asked Rai.
Rai is also calling for stronger identification. She’s unsure what this will mean about her future support for the party.
Gurbachan Brar ended up winning the nomination.
660 NEWS contacted the Calgary Police Service which says they have been made aware of the complaint.
The NDP didn’t comment as to whether there will be an investigation or if they found two fraudulent voters but they did issue a statement from Provincial Secretary Roari Richardson.
“With respect to the Calgary Northeast nomination, we followed scrupulous identification requirements that are in line with the standards set out by Elections Alberta.
Elections Alberta states, members voting can provide one piece of government-issued ID containing their photograph, their name, and current address (such as a Drivers Licence or Alberta Identification Card). Or, if unable to provide government-issued ID, they must provide two pieces of authorized ID. Both must have their name and one must have their current physical address.”