Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone participates in B.C. Liberal leadership debate Jan. 23, 2018 (Black Press files)

Todd Stone campaign forfeits 1,349 B.C. Liberal memberships

Most with ‘first language not English,’ email addresses not accepted

B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Todd Stone’s campaign has disclosed that it has cancelled membership applications from 1,349 people after being questioned by party officials about the lack of email addresses.

“Last Friday, our senior campaign team was contacted by the party about a situation involving missing email addresses on a group of pending membership applications submitted by our campaign – mainly from prospective members whose first language is not English,” Stone campaign chair Peter Fassbender said in a statement Friday.

With voting underway since Thursday and being completed at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Stone campaign agreed not to let the applications be activated to vote.

“Upon being informed of the situation, Todd immediately requested a full investigation to determine exactly what had transpired,” Fassbender said. “Upon conclusion of that, Todd and our senior team presented those findings to the party rules committee including a recommendation that the membership applications in question – 1,349 in total – not be included in this voting process to ensure the integrity of the result.

“The party agreed with the recommendation and the individuals in question will not be able to cast a ballot because of their incomplete application.”

B.C. Liberal Party executive director Emile Scheffel said the party’s inspection of new memberships included checking email addresses. He issued a statement Friday that does not clarify if other campaigns had similar issues.

“In any case where the party was not satisfied that an email address was the applicant’s own as required by the rules, those applications were not accepted,” Scheffel said. “Based on that process, we are confident that only those membership applications that have met all of the party’s criteria for membership, including those applications submitted by the Todd Stone campaign, have been accepted.”

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