UNITED STATES NEWS

4 elections offices in Washington are evacuated due to suspicious envelopes, 2 containing fentanyl

Nov 8, 2023, 5:51 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — Four county elections offices in Washington state were evacuated Wednesday after they received envelopes containing suspicious powders — including two that field-tested positive for fentanyl — while workers were processing ballots from Tuesday’s election.

The elections offices were located in King County — home of Seattle — as well as Skagit, Spokane and Pierce counties, the Secretary of State’s Office said in emailed news release. Local, state and federal agents were investigating, and no one was injured, officials said.

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs called the incidents “acts of terrorism to threaten our elections.”

“These incidents underscore the critical need for stronger protections for all election workers,” he said.

Renton police detective Robert Onishi confirmed that an envelope received by workers at a King County elections office field-tested positive for fentanyl, while Spokane Police Department spokesperson Julie Humphreys said fentanyl was found in an envelope at the Spokane County Elections office, The Seattle Times reported.

The envelope received by the Pierce County elections office in Tacoma contained baking soda, Tacoma police spokesperson William Muse told the paper.

A message inside the envelope said “something to the effect of stopping the election,” Muse said. “There was no candidate that was identified. There was no religious affiliated group identified. There was no political issue identified. It was just that vague statement.”

Voters in Washington state cast their ballots by mail. Tuesday’s elections concerned local and county races and measures, including a question on renter protections in Tacoma, a tight mayor’s race in Spokane and close City Council races in Seattle.

Halei Watkins, communications manager for King County Elections, told The Seattle Times the envelope opened by staffers in Renton on Wednesday morning was not a ballot. By 3 p.m., King County had returned to counting and was planning to meet its original 4 p.m. deadline to post results, but the update would be “significantly smaller” than what is usually posted on the day after an election, Watkins said.

Patrick Bell, a spokesperson for Spokane County Elections, said workers were sent home after the envelope was found mid-morning and no further votes would be counted Wednesday.

The Secretary of State’s Office noted that elections officials in two counties — King and Okanogan — received suspicious substances in envelopes during the August primary. In the case of King County, the envelope contained trace amounts of fentanyl, while in Okanogan the substance was determined to be unharmful on testing by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

United States News

Associated Press

1 dead after shuttle bus crashes at a Honolulu cruise ship terminal

HONOLULU (AP) — One person died and multiple people were injured when a shuttle bus collided with pedestrians and concrete barriers at a Honolulu cruise ship terminal, authorities said Friday. The crash occurred when the shuttle bus driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake, Honolulu police said in statement. The driver had dropped off […]

2 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

3 hours ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Officer who fatally shot Kawaski Trawick 5 years ago won’t be disciplined, police commissioner says

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kawaski Trawick inside his Bronx apartment five years ago will not face internal discipline, the city’s police commissioner, Edward Caban, announced Friday. In a statement, Caban said the officers, Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, “acted within the law” in […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Dallas doctor convicted of tampering with IV bags linked to co-worker’s death and other emergencies

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas anesthesiologist was convicted Friday for injecting a nerve-blocking agent and other drugs into bags of intravenous fluid at a surgical center where he worked, which led to the death of a co-worker and caused cardiac emergencies for several patients, federal prosecutors said. A jury convicted Raynaldo Riviera Ortiz Jr., 60, […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Maine governor signs bill restricting paramilitary training in response to neo-Nazi’s plan

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill to restrict paramilitary training in Maine in response to a neo-Nazi who wanted to create a training center for a “blood tribe” was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Friday. The law, which the governor signed without public comment, allows the attorney general to file for […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

4 elections offices in Washington are evacuated due to suspicious envelopes, 2 containing fentanyl