Terrorism Concerns as Suspicious Envelopes Target Election Offices in Georgia and Washington
Authorities in Georgia and Washington are currently investigating a series of “suspicious” envelopes mailed to election offices this Wednesday, with officials deeming these incidents as potential acts of terrorism.
In Washington, Secretary of State Steve Hobbs revealed that election workers in several counties were recipients of envelopes containing “unknown powdery substances.” This alarming discovery led to immediate evacuations of the affected facilities. The Spokane Police Department confirmed that an envelope received by the Spokane County Elections Office tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful opioid, but negative for any explosive agents.
The WA Secretary of State says envelopes received by elections offices in King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties were found today to contain "unknown powdery substances."— Mark Hanrahan (@KREMMark) November 8, 2023
Spokane PD confirmed the powder found in at the Spokane County Elections Office did contain fentanyl. pic.twitter.com/Xm3JsOY4Hl
Similarly, an envelope sent to King County election workers also showed a “presumptive” positive result for fentanyl, as per Detective Robert Onishi of the Renton Police Department. Further testing is underway to confirm the findings and ascertain the amount of fentanyl present.
A startling incident occurred in Pierce County, where a worker discovered an envelope dispersing a white powdery substance. The Washington State Patrol and Tacoma fire crews responded promptly, identifying the substance as harmless baking soda. Despite this, the accompanying letter contained a vague but menacing message demanding a halt to the election, without specifying any candidate, religious group, or political agenda.
DEVELOPING: Another suspicious letter has shown up at an election's office, this one in Snohomish Co. It matches the description of suspicious mail that showed up in 4 other counties in our state. Two of them tested positive for fentanyl.@TheronZahnKOMO reports.#KOMONews pic.twitter.com/ybRCr4nE5S— Holly Menino (@hollymenino) November 10, 2023
Secretary Hobbs emphasized the critical importance of protecting election workers, describing these incidents as acts of terrorism aimed at undermining the democratic process. In response, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington condemned the acts, labeling them as threats to democracy and the electoral process, and called for all elected officials to reaffirm the integrity of the election system.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed similar incidents in Fulton County, where election officials received suspicious letters. The FBI, along with local law enforcement, is actively investigating these cases, with the Department of Justice also involved in the inquiry.
Traces of fentanyl found in envelope sent to King County election center; 3 other offices evacuated— Steve McCarron KOMO (@SteveTVNews) November 9, 2023
The hazmat scare impacted ballot processing at @kcelections HQ in Renton for approx. 3 hours on Wednesday, officials say.
READ MORE HERE: https://t.co/KiSoAKCtnF pic.twitter.com/wnlxbNJ2dM
This series of events is not the first of its kind. During Washington’s August 1 primary, election officials in King and Okanogan Counties also received envelopes with suspicious substances. While the substance in Okanogan County was deemed harmless, the envelope in King County contained trace amounts of fentanyl.
As these investigations unfold, authorities are taking every measure to ensure the safety and integrity of the election process, treating these incidents with utmost seriousness and urgency.
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