Multiple elections offices in Washington state, as well as other states across the country, were evacuated on Wednesday after receiving envelopes containing suspicious powders. While no injuries were reported, the discovery of these envelopes has sparked investigations by local, state, and federal authorities.
Among the counties affected in Washington state were King County, Skagit County, Spokane County, and Pierce County. In California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state, roughly a dozen similar envelopes were also found. The FBI believes that the letters originate from a location within the Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington or Oregon.
Although the substances found in the envelopes were described as “nonharmful,” preliminary field tests revealed traces of fentanyl on some of the letters. It is important to note that these field tests are not as extensive as lab tests carried out by the FBI. The FBI’s own lab tests are currently underway to determine the exact nature of the substances.
Similar incidents involving suspicious letters were reported in other states. The FBI’s Atlanta Bureau, along with other law enforcement partners, responded to multiple incidents at ballot counting centers nationwide. However, specific information about the other states affected has not been provided at this time.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed that Fulton County had been targeted. The Department of Justice, FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the reports. The envelope at the Pierce County elections office contained baking soda, while other envelopes contained vague messages suggesting a desire to “stop the election.”
These incidents highlight the need for stronger protections for election workers. Secretary of State Steve Hobbs referred to them as “acts of terrorism” and emphasized the importance of safeguarding elections. Despite the disruptions caused by these incidents, elections officials in Washington state were still working towards meeting their deadlines to post results.
As investigations continue, the FBI has issued a warning for people to exercise caution when handling mail, especially if it is from unknown senders. Experts have confirmed that simply touching or being near fentanyl does not pose a risk of overdose.
Q: Which states received the suspicious letters?
A: The letters were sent to addresses in California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state.
Q: What substance was found in the letters?
A: Some of the letters contained traces of fentanyl, while others included non-harmful substances.
Q: Where do authorities believe the letters originated from?
A: The FBI believes that the letters are being sent from a location within the Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington or Oregon.
Q: Are there any reported injuries?
A: Fortunately, no injuries have been reported as a result of these incidents.