4 election offices evacuated in Washington state; fentanyl found at 2
Four county elections offices in Washington state, including in King County, were evacuated Wednesday after workers received envelopes containing "unknown powdery substances," according to the Secretary of State's office.
- In each case, the substances were discovered as workers were busy counting ballots from Tuesday's election.
Zoom in: In King County, a staff member in the mailroom of the county elections office in Renton opened an envelope and discovered white powder, spokesperson Halei Watkins told Axios.
- Preliminary testing showed a presence of fentanyl, Watkins said. But it wasn't immediately clear if the envelope carried a trace of the drug "or something more concentrated," she said.
- Election workers left the building for about three hours while the incident was investigated, returning at about 1:45pm yesterday, Watkins said.
- No workers reported becoming ill, she added.
Meanwhile, in Spokane, the white powdery substance discovered by election workers also tested positive for fentanyl, KXLY reported.
- At the Pierce County elections office in Tacoma, it appears the substance was baking powder, according to police cited in a KING 5 report.
- Workers at the elections office in Skagit County also were evacuated after finding an unknown powder, the Secretary of State's office said.
What they're saying: "These incidents are acts of terrorism to threaten our elections," Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said in a news release.
What we're watching: Whether authorities determine the incidents are connected and who might be behind them.
More Seattle stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Seattle.